Taiwan taking Chinese military threat very seriously

Taiwan’s Foreign Minister has insisted that substantial investments are being made in the island’s defence capabilities due to the serious threat posed by the Chinese military. While preparations are being made for a potential attack on Taiwan at any point, according to Minister Joseph Wu, particular concern has been placed on 2027, a year in which China plans to be militarily ready for an invasion.

Mr Wu told Andrew Marr on LBC: “We are taking the Chinese military threat very seriously. And that is the reason why we make more investment in our own defence capabilities.

“But we have not been focusing on one timeline only, for example, and other people are talking about 2025. Some people talk about 2027.

“Some people talk about 2035, and etc. We take all kinds of assessment in a very serious way. And what we want to be prepared for is no matter when the Chinese are going to launch its military attack against Taiwan, we are prepared.

“But I think 2027 is the year that we need to be serious about.”

He explained that President Xi Jinping may want to initiate a crisis against Taiwan to show his ability and desire to take action for China’s unification, potentially driven by domestic problems such as a slowing economy, financial instability, and discontent resulting from COVID lockdowns.

Mr Wu said: “First is that China has already announced that it’s going to be militarily ready by year 2027. And that is also going to be the year that Xi Jinping will go into his fourth term.

“And if Xi Jinping is not able to tell the Chinese people that he has accomplished anything in the first second, and the third term, he might want to initiate a crisis against Taiwan, to show to the Chinese people that he has the desire and ability and taking actions against Taiwan for China’s unification. So, this is what we are looking at…”

“If they have domestic problems, they might create external crisis to divest, to divert the domestic attention. And if you look the Chinese economy is slowing down. And people are not happy.

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“The real estate is something like melting down the financial system, or financial situation has not been good. And people have been discontent after the long period of COVID lockdowns.

“So this is creating domestic pressure. And we are concerned that China may want to initiate a crisis to divert the domestic attention and Taiwan is so conveniently located right next to China, and therefore we have to be concerned.”

Meanwhile, a US commander has warned that China’s military build-up, which is the most extensive seen since World War II, includes both conventional and strategic nuclear domains and poses a significant threat to Taiwan, which is claimed by Beijing.

Admiral John Aquilino stressed the need for urgent action by the US to counter the rapid military expansion in the South China Sea before it’s too late.

Aquilino, the commander of US Indo-Pacific Command, has cautioned that the US must take quick action to prevent China from launching a military attack as it is currently engaged in the most significant military expansion seen since World War II.

Both in conventional and strategic nuclear domains, but he also expressed confidence that China’s ambitions can still be curtailed if urgent steps are taken and emphasized the need for the US to increase the pace in certain areas such as hypersonic weapons.

He also noted that the US has military capabilities that exceed those of China.

Aquilino told a meeting of the House of Representatives armed services committee: “Conflict in the Indopacom area of operations is neither imminent nor inevitable. Nevertheless, we do not have the luxury of time, we must act now to maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

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