Highlights:

  • Taiwan’s defence minister noted that the military tensions with China are at their worst in over 40 years
  • As China continues to strengthen its military might, Taiwan fears that Beijing might mount a “full-scale” invasion by 2025
  • Chiu Kuo-Cheng was responding to a Taiwanese parliamentary committee reviewing special military spending of T$240 billion

On Wednesday, Taiwan’s defence minister Chiu Kuo- cheng voiced that the military tensions with China are at their worst in over 40 years, when he was inquired with a lawmaker’s question in the country’s parliament. As China continues to strengthen its military might, Taiwan fears that Beijing might mount a “full-scale” invasion by 2025.

Defining the situation as “most serious” since he joined the military, he emphasized 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 full-scale war for Beijing might be at its lowest by 2025, when a potential invasion seems likely.

While addressing the parliament, the defence minister said, “For me as a military man, the urgency is right in front of me.” He added, “By 2025, China will bring the cost and attribution to its lowest. It has the capacity now, but it will not start a war easily, having to take many other things into consideration.”

Chiu Kuo-Cheng was responding to a Taiwanese parliamentary committee reviewing special military spending of T$240 billion ($8.6 billion) for homemade weapons including missiles and warships. Reportedly, Taiwan’s special military spending in the next five years is likely to go towards naval weapons including anti-ship weapons such as land-based missile systems.

Taiwan is worried by the recent advances made by China over the past days when record numbers of Chinese military aircraft repeatedly flew over Taiwan’s air defence identification zone. In the last four days, Taiwan conveyed that nearly 150 Chinese air force aircraft entered its air defence zone, part of a pattern of what Taipei calls Beijing’s continued harassment of the Island.

Meanwhile, China asserts that the democratic island of Taiwan is its own territory and says it should be taken by force if required. Taiwan battles, stating it is an independent country and will defend its freedom and democracy in the face of China’s aggression.

On the other hand, the United States, which is Taiwan’s main military supplier, has assured its “rock-solid” commitments to Taiwan and also slammed China. However, Beijing accuses Washington’s policies of supporting Taiwan with arms sales and sending warships through the Taiwan strait for raising tensions.

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