China deploying 'wartime' tactics on Taiwan says expert
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Joseph Wu, Taiwan’s foreign minister, vowed the island will “defend ourselves to the very end” against any assault from China. Beijing regards Taiwan as a breakaway state, and has repeatedly threatened to take back the island by force if necessary.
The Taiwanese minister accused China of “conducting misinformation campaigns, hybrid warfare”, adding “and recently they have increased their grey zone activities against Taiwan”.
Mr Wu said: “All these seem to be preparing for their final military assault against Taiwan.
“This is our country, this is our people and this is our way of life.
“We will defend ourselves to the very end.”
Mr Wu, speaking to Sky News, suggested Taiwan “happens to be on the frontline of China’s expansion of its authoritarian order”.
He added: “If Taiwan is taken by China, I think the consequences will be global.”
The minister also welcomed the UK sending to send the HMS Queen Elizabeth, the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier, to the Indo-Pacific.
Mr Wu told the broadcaster: “For the UK to think about sending military surface ships to this part of the world, to show that the UK cares, is also welcomed.”
It follows Wang Wenbin, spokesperson for China’s ministry of foreign affairs, telling a press briefing that Taiwan “must and will be reunified” with the mainland.
The spokesperson was asked about a potential conflict with Australia, which has vowed to support Taiwan.
He told reporters: “We are willing to do our utmost to strive for the prospect of peaceful reunification, but will never leave any room for any forms of ‘Taiwan independence’ secessionist activities.
“It is hoped that the Australian side will fully recognize that the Taiwan question is highly sensitive, abide by the one-China principle, be prudent in its words and deeds, avoid sending any wrong signals to the ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist forces, and act in ways beneficial to peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and conducive to China-Australian relations.”
China has also scrambled military jets over Taiwanese air defence zones almost daily throughout the year so far.
On Monday, the Y-8 tactical reconnaissance aircraft from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) flew 30 metres above sea level off Taiwan.
Lin Yin-yu, a professor at the Institute of Strategic and International Affairs at National Chung Cheng University in southern Taiwan, told the South China Morning Post that the low-altitude flight served to test the Taiwanese military’s radar response capability.
He said: “By flying at an altitude of 30 metres, the PLA plane was testing if it could fly beneath the radio wave coverage area.”
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