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World Explainer: Why is Taiwan-China tension rising and what are the risks?

12:22  21 september  2020
12:22  21 september  2020 Source:   reuters.com

US holds its second high-profile visit to Taiwan in two months as Beijing escalates military pressure

  US holds its second high-profile visit to Taiwan in two months as Beijing escalates military pressure A high-profile United States official is visiting Taiwan for the second time in two months, the latest sign of warming ties between Washington and Taipei, as Beijing escalates pressure on the self-governed island through a series of military drills and aircraft incursions. © PEI CHEN/AFP/POOL/AFP via Getty Images Keith Krach, US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment, alights from an aircraft after landing at the Songshan airport in Taipei on September 17.

Why is tension rising now? China claims democratically-run Taiwan as its own territory, to be taken by force if needed, a threat the island has lived with since 1949, when defeated Kuomintang, or Nationalist, forces fled there after their defeat by the Communists in the What are the risks ?

Why is tension rising now? China claims democratically-run Taiwan as its own territory, to be taken What are the risks ? Taiwan and China do not have an official dialogue mechanism China may quickly overwhelm Taiwan with missile and cyber attacks before the United States even

TAIPEI (Reuters) - China sent numerous aircraft close to Taiwan during two days of drills from Friday, causing the island's air force to scramble, as Beijing expressed anger at the visit of a senior U.S. official to Taipei.

a person wearing a hat: Military honour guards attend a flag-lowering ceremony at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei © Reuters/TYRONE SIU Military honour guards attend a flag-lowering ceremony at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei

WHY IS TENSION RISING NOW?

China claims democratically-run Taiwan as its own territory, to be taken by force if needed, a threat the island has lived with since 1949, when defeated Kuomintang, or Nationalist, forces fled there after their defeat by the Communists in the Chinese civil war.

Beijing holds military exercises near Taiwan as US diplomat visits

  Beijing holds military exercises near Taiwan as US diplomat visits China said Friday it was conducting military exercises near the Taiwan Strait, as a top US diplomat visits the self-ruled island in a move that has angered Beijing. Relations between the United States and China are at their lowest point in decades, with the two sides clashing over a range of trade, military and security issues as well as the coronavirus pandemic. China's Communist leadership baulks at any recognition of Taiwan -- which has been ruled separately from China since the end of a civil war in 1949 -- and has mounted a decades-long policy of marginalising the democratic island.

Why is tension rising now? China claims democratically-run Taiwan as its own territory, to be taken by force if needed, a threat the island has lived with since 1949, when defeated Kuomintang, or Nationalist, forces fled there after their defeat by the Communists in the What are the risks ?

Why is tension rising now? China claims democratically-run Taiwan as its own territory, to be taken by force if needed, a threat the island has lived with since 1949 What are the risks ? Taiwan and China do not have an official dialogue mechanism, meaning that any accidental clash

China has been angered by stepped-up U.S. support for Taiwan, including two visits in as many months by top officials, one in August by Health Secretary Alex Azar and the other last week by Keith Krach, the undersecretary for economic affairs.

In addition, the United States is planning major new arms sales to Taiwan. China views all these steps as effectively being U.S. support for Taiwan independence, with the eventual establishment of a Republic of Taiwan, a red line for Beijing.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen says the island is already an independent country called the Republic of China, its formal name, and that the People's Republic of China has never ruled Taiwan and has no right to.

China calls Taiwan its most important and sensitive issue in U.S. ties. For China's ruling Communist Party, Taiwan is the last part of the nation still awaiting "liberation" after the 1949 victory, adding an extra historical significance.

Taiwan military says it has right to counter attack amid China threats

  Taiwan military says it has right to counter attack amid China threats Taiwan military says it has right to counter attack amid China threatsTensions have sharply spiked in recent months between Taipei and Beijing, which claims democratically run Taiwan as its own territory, to be taken by force if needed.

Why is tension rising now? China calls Taiwan its most important and sensitive issue in U.S. ties. For China ’s ruling Communist Party, Taiwan is the last part of the nation still awaiting “liberation” after the 1949 victory, adding an extra historical significance.

Why is tension rising now? China claims democratically-run Taiwan as its own territory, to be taken by force if needed, a threat the island has lived What are the risks ? Taiwan and China do not have an official dialogue mechanism, meaning that any accidental clash between their fighter

WHAT ARE THE RISKS?

Taiwan and China do not have an official dialogue mechanism, meaning that any accidental clash between their fighter jets, for example, could quickly spiral out of control.

Taiwan's air force now regularly scrambles to see off approaching Chinese aircraft.

A conflict over Taiwan may suck in the United States and its Asian allies, though it is an open question whether Washington would, or could, come to Taipei's aid.

China may quickly overwhelm Taiwan with missile and cyber attacks before the United States even has a chance to respond.

However, any war would be damaging for China too, in terms of its international reputation and economically, especially if it is subject to broad Western economic sanctions.

WHY IS TAIWAN STRATEGICALLY IMPORTANT?

Not only is Taiwan in a key geographic location on the edge of the Pacific between the disputed South China Sea and Japan, but it is a tech powerhouse, home to the world's biggest contract chipmaker, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd.

Almost 40 Chinese warplanes breach Taiwan Strait median line

  Almost 40 Chinese warplanes breach Taiwan Strait median line Taiwan's President has accused Beijing of purposefully inflaming tensions in East Asia, after Chinese warplanes crossed the sensitive median line across the narrow strait that separates the mainland and the self-governing island almost 40 times on Friday and Saturday. © Ministry of National Defence Taiwan Defense Ministry photo shows an Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force H-6 bomber intercepted by Taiwanese fighters on Friday.

Why is tension rising now? China claims democratically-run Taiwan as its own territory, to be taken by force if needed, a threat the island has lived with since 1949 What are the risks ? Taiwan and China do not have an official dialogue mechanism, meaning that any accidental clash

Why is tension rising now? China claims democratically-run Taiwan as its own territory, to be taken by force if needed, a threat the island has lived with What are the risks ? Taiwan and China do not have an official dialogue mechanism, meaning that any accidental clash between their fighter jets, for

The United States views China's tech firms as a security risk and has moved to cut off its access to advanced chips, including those from Taiwan.

HOW DO THE ARMED FORCES OF THE TWO SIDES COMPARE?

Taiwan's military is well-trained and well-armed, but is dwarfed by China's People's Liberation Army, which is adding stealth fighters, aircraft carriers and advanced missiles in the throes of an impressive modernisation programme.

Tsai has made upgrading Taiwan's military a priority, stressing "asymmetric warfare", to make any attack as painful and as difficult for China as possible. This could include, for example, pinpoint strikes by long-range missiles on targets in China.

WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IN A WAR BETWEEN TAIWAN AND CHINA?

While China could easily overwhelm Taiwan with missiles and air attacks, it has other options to bring the island to its knees, such as cyberattacks to take down basic infrastructure, or a naval blockade to force surrender.

Whatever happens, the reaction of the United States will be crucial.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

China 'must back off', says Taiwan

  China 'must back off', says Taiwan Taiwan on Tuesday demanded that China "back off" and accused it of threatening peace, after a Beijing official rejected a largely respected marine boundary following recent incursions. Beijing has ratcheted up pressure on the democratic island since the 2016 election of President Tsai Ing-wen, who rejects its view that Taiwan is part of "one China".Foreign minister Joseph Wu urged Beijing to "return to the civilised international standards" after a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said there was no so-called median line in the Taiwan Strait "as Taiwan is an inseparable part of Chinese territory".

Why is tension rising now? China claims democratically-run Taiwan as its own territory, to be taken by force if needed, a threat the island has lived What are the risks ? Taiwan and China do not have an official dialogue mechanism, meaning that any accidental clash between their fighter

Why is tension rising now? China claims democratically-run Taiwan as its own territory, to be taken by force if needed, a threat the island has lived with What are the risks ? Taiwan and China do not have an official dialogue mechanism, meaning that any accidental clash between their fighter jets, for


Video: China begins military drills as senior U.S. official visits Taiwan amid rising tensions (Reuters)

China prepares to fly fighter jets over Taiwan .
China seems set to overfly Taiwan with fighter jets. Such an operation would be designed to warn the U.S. against increasing its support for Taiwan. And second, to test whether President Tsai Ing-wen is willing to fire on Chinese aircraft. © Provided by Washington Examiner The latest warning of an impending overflight came on Thursday in the Global Times newspaper. The primary mouthpiece of Beijing's Communist Party messaging to the west, the paper warned that the "Deployment of US forces to Taiwan means war." This refers to recent U.S.

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