Taiwan’s tensions with China are “worst in 40 years,” as recent moves suggest that the US-backed island may be on the verge of declaring independence – a move that could move Beijing to direct action
Image: SIPA Asia / REX / Shutterstock)
China has warned that war could be imminent days after its air force stationed a record number of fighter jets in Taiwan’s airspace as the conflict deepens.
Earlier this week, 34 Chinese J-16 fighters escorted 12 nuclear-capable H-6 bombers to their protected area.
It increased the total number of Chinese planes sent into Taiwan’s Defense Zone to nearly 150, a move that has been described as “irresponsible” and “provocative”.
The incursions of nuclear-capable Chinese warplanes have heightened tensions over the tiny US-backed island.
The tensions between the two nations are worst in 40 years, said Taiwan’s defense minister now.
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Chiu Kuo-cheng’s comments came, and Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen wrote that there would be “catastrophic” consequences for peace and democracy in Asia if the island fell to China.
They did not rule out the possible use of force to “achieve unification”.
When the communists took power in 1949, Taiwan broke away from the mainland.
Recent government moves suggest that the island may be close to officially declaring independence. This is a move that could spur Beijing to take direct action, it has been reported.
Taiwan’s western allies have expressed concern over China’s overt exercise of military power.
There is a general fear that any form of armed confrontation could quickly escalate into global conflict.
President Tsai added that Taiwan will “do everything possible to defend itself”.
The Global Times, a newspaper widely regarded as a tool of the Chinese government, mockingly stated in an editorial: “It seems that the [Taiwanese] Authorities are really scared. “
Photo only / PA images)
The article warned that a confrontation between the superpowers could be just days away and continued, “The strategic arrangement between the US and Japan and the DPP authorities is getting bolder, and the cross-strait situation has lost almost all space . “For maneuvers that fluctuate on the verge of a confrontation, which creates a sense of urgency that war can be started at any time”.
The appalling message ended: “If the US and the DPP authorities do not take the initiative to reverse the current situation, mainland China military punishment will be triggered for the secessionist forces of ‘Taiwan Independence’ … Time will prove this Warning not just a verbal threat. “
In a defiant statement, Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said, “If China starts a war against Taiwan, we will fight to the end, and that is our obligation.”
US President Joe Biden said his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping had agreed to adhere to the “Taiwan Agreement”.