Washington: With China ramping up its military might in recent years, Taiwan stands concerned that Beijing might mount a “full scale” invasion by 2025.
Taiwan’s defense minister Chiu Kuo-cheng, faced with a lawmaker’s question in the country’s parliament, said military tensions with China are at their worst in more than 40 years – certainly the “most serious” since he joined the military.
He noted that there was an added risk of “misfire” across the sensitive Taiwan Strait; and that while China already has the required arsenal to take Taiwan by force, the cost of a “full scale” war for Beijing might be at its lowest by 2025, when a potential invasion seems likely.
Nearly 150 Chinese warplanes have breached Taiwan’s airspace since the beginning of October, including 56 jets recently in a dramatic increase in aggression.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has described the seizure of the self-governed democracy as “inevitable” and Beijing has ratcheted up pressure on Tsai since she was elected in 2016 on a mandate of an “independent” Taiwan, the report said.
Self-ruled democratic Taiwan lives under the constant threat of invasion by China, which views the island as its territory and has vowed to one day seize it, by force if necessary.
Beijing has ramped up pressure on Taiwan since the 2016 election of President Tsai Ing-wen, who rejects its stance that Taiwan is part of “one China”. Under President Xi Jinping, Chinese warplanes are crossing into Taiwan’s ADIZ at an unprecedented rate.
The United States, Taiwan’s main military supplier, has confirmed its “rock-solid” commitment to Taiwan and also criticized China. Beijing blames Washington’s policies of supporting Taiwan with arms sales and sending warships through the Taiwan Strait for raising tensions.