When Donald Trump was in the White House, he kept a close tab on the Chinese government, forcing Beijing to come to the negotiating table regarding trade and other issues while blocking the Communist regime off from sensitive American technology. With Trump’s successor, Joe Biden, the Chinese threats against Taiwan have resumed again as well as acts of military intimidation. What’s more, the Chinese continue to build the capability specifically to invade the island, which the regime considers just a ‘renegade province’ even though the once-ruling government of China fled there after losing a civil war to Mao’s Communists.
The Daily Mail reports on some harrowing new details:
China has warned that World War Three could be triggered ‘at any time’ after it sent dozens of warplanes into Taiwan’s airspace.
An article in the state-backed Global Times newspaper on Tuesday said that “collusion” between the US and Taiwan was so “audacious” that the situation “has almost lost any room for maneuver, teetering on the edge of a face-off.”
It claimed that the people of China were ready to back all-out war with the US, warning the island nation against “playing with fire.”
In recent days, nearly 150 warplanes including fighters, nuclear-capable bombers, anti-submarine and electronic warfare planes have violated Taiwan’s airspace including 56 planes in a single incident in what has become a dramatic escalation of aggression.
Meanwhile, the Taiwanese aren’t backing down. President Tsai Ing-wen vowed on Tuesday to “do whatever it takes” to defend the country, as U.S. warships and those from a half-dozen other countries made their presence felt in the region.
President Tsai’s vow “comes as British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth (‘Big Lizzie’) was shown sailing in the Philippine Sea in a joint exercise with two US carriers — the USS Ronald Reagan and USS Carl Vinson — and Japan’s helicopter destroyer JS Ise,” the Daily Mail reported.
In reality, the Izumo-class helicopter destroyers are being modified into aircraft carriers capable of operating vertical takeoff-landing F-35Bs from their decks; the modifications are said to be directly related to China’s construction of carriers.
Taiwan’s Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng further predicted, without providing details, that China’s military capacity would significantly reduce obstacles to a “full scale” invasion of Taiwan within the next four years. “By 2025, China will bring the cost and attrition to its lowest. It has the capacity now, but it will not start a war easily, having to take many other things into consideration,” he said.
China claims the island of 24 million people as part of its sovereign territory, threatening to take control by force if Taiwan’s government formally declares independence. But proudly democratic Taiwan considers itself a country and has shown no interest in submitting to Chinese Communist Party rule.
About two dozen U.S. troops, including a Special Operations unit and a contingent of Marines, have been in Taiwan to train military forces for more than a year, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, citing unnamed U.S. officials.
In response to questions about Chinese military threats to Taiwan, the State Department has underscored that its commitments to Taiwan are “rock solid,” while President Biden said that he and Chinese President Xi Jinping had agreed to stick with the “Taiwan agreement,” an apparent reference to a U.S. policy that acknowledges China’s position of claiming Taiwan without taking sides in the dispute.
China has also poured scorn on the emerging Quad partnership and a new pact known as Aukus for the United States and Britain to provide Australia with technology to build nuclear-powered submarines — both efforts to counter Chinese military aggression in the South China Sea and broader Indo-Pacific region.
Speaking last month after the Aukus announcement, former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd told The Washington Post it was “hypocritical” for China to criticize Australia’s acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines given the rapid expansion of its own Naval fleet.
“China is yet to provide a publicly convincing strategic rationale as to why such an extensive, forward leaning military posture is necessary,” Rudd said, adding that Beijing’s actions had created a “great regional arms bazaar” in the Asia Pacific “as people seek to arm themselves to defend against what they perceive as a growing Chinese military challenge.”
Pushback against Chinese military adventurism was evident in a speech Friday at the Yushan forum in Taipei by former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott, who warned that “it’s quite possible that Beijing could lash out disastrously very soon.”
His visit to Taipei, and pointed critique of Beijing, attracted controversy in Australia, where some commentators said the trip was unnecessarily provocative toward China and created a fresh headache in the already troubled bilateral relationship. Senior Australian political leaders have said Abbott made the trip in a private capacity.
Abbott was unapologetic, saying that “nothing is more pressing right now” than showing support for Taiwan. “I don’t think America could stand by and watch Taiwan [be] swallowed up,” he added.