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World Pentagon Backs Taiwan Against Chinese Military Threats

15:06  13 october  2021
15:06  13 october  2021 Source:   newsweek.com

5 things to know about China's record surge of warplanes near Taiwan

  5 things to know about China's record surge of warplanes near Taiwan China's record number of incursions of warplanes into Taiwan's defense zone over the past four days plays to Beijing's military strengths while sending potent messages both at home and far beyond the self-governed island, Western analysts say. © Taiwan Ministry of Defense/AP The Taiwan Ministry of Defense released this undated file photo of a Chinese J-16 fighter jet when they announced that PLA aircrafts entered their air defense identification zone.

The Pentagon on Tuesday backed Taiwan against what it said were increased efforts by China to "intimidate and pressure" the island using its military.

C-130H transport aircraft of Taiwan's air force overfly Taiwan's Presidential Office during Republic of China National Day celebrations on October 10, 2021. © Office of the President, Taiwan/Wang Yu Ching C-130H transport aircraft of Taiwan's air force overfly Taiwan's Presidential Office during Republic of China National Day celebrations on October 10, 2021.

This month, Taiwan has detected 153 People's Liberation Army aircraft on training missions in the international airspace about 100 to 150 miles southwest of the island. Taipei's view of the flights as pointed political signals—and a real threat—was confirmed on Wednesday when a Chinese official said the military activities targeted the Taiwanese government and its foreign backers.

Taiwan "very concerned" that China will "launch a war" to take over

  Taiwan Taiwan, a strategic U.S. ally claimed by Beijing as sovereign territory, says 145 Chinese military planes have violated its air defense zone in four days."If Taiwan were to fall, the consequences would be catastrophic for regional peace and the democratic alliance system," wrote President Tsai Ying-wen in Foreign Affairs. "It would signal that in today's global contest of values, authoritarianism has the upper hand over democracy.

Defense Department spokesperson John Kirby said the PLA activities conducted in the vicinity of Taiwan, as well as in the East and South China seas, are "destabilizing and only increase the risk of miscalculation."

"Our support for and defense relationship with Taiwan remains aligned against the current threat posed by the People's Republic of China," Kirby said, using China's formal name, "and we urge Beijing to honor its commitment to the peaceful resolution of cross-strait differences."

His remarks mean democratic Taiwan has received the Biden administration's wide support from the State Department, White House and now the Pentagon. Last week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said China's actions were "potentially a source of instability, not stability."

Tensions flare as Chinese flights near Taiwan intensify

  Tensions flare as Chinese flights near Taiwan intensify TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — With record numbers of military flights near Taiwan over the last week, China has been showing a new intensity and military sophistication as it steps up its harassment of the island it claims as its own and asserts its territorial ambitions in the region. China's People's Liberation Army flew 56 planes in international airspace off the southwest coast of Taiwan on Monday, setting a new record and capping four days of sustained pressure involving 149 flights. The actions came as China, with growing diplomatic and military power, faces greater pushback from countries in the region and as Taiwan pleads for more global support and recognition.

Kirby, who noted the U.S.'s "one China" policy doesn't include an official position on sovereignty over Taiwan, said the U.S. would continue to "assist Taiwan in maintaining a sufficient self-defense capability," as prescribed by the Taiwan Relations Act.

The U.S.'s "one China" policy is distinct from Beijing's oft-cited "one China" principle, which asserts absolute sovereignty over the island.

Also on Tuesday, State Department spokesperson Ned Price also reiterated the "rock-solid" American commitment to Taiwan. "We've also been very clear that we are committed to deepening our ties with Taiwan. We know that Taiwan is a leading democracy. It is a critical economic and security partner," he added.

Taiwan's president, Tsai Ing-wen, has insisted on her country being granted political parity. She has urged Beijing to hold dialogue with Taiwan's representatives without preconditions such as recognition of the "one China" principle. The Chinese leadership has so far refused, denying communication through established channels since her election in 2016.

EXPLAINER: How China flights near Taiwan enflame tensions

  EXPLAINER: How China flights near Taiwan enflame tensions BANGKOK (AP) — A recent spate of Chinese military flights off southwestern Taiwan has prompted alarm from the island, which Beijing claims as its own, and is increasing tensions in a region already on edge. The flights are one piece of a complex puzzle in Asia, where the United States and its allies have stepped up their naval maneuvers and Australia announced last month it is acquiring nuclear-powered submarines in a deal seen as a direct challenge to Beijing. Meanwhile, Japan has grown increasingly vocal about China becoming a security threat. © Provided by Associated Press In this photo released by the U.S.

In the meantime, Taipei has been watching a steady buildup of China's military capabilities from across the Taiwan Strait. Ruling party lawmakers have struggled to raise the island's defense spending above 2 percent of GDP, although an $8.5 billion special defense budget is currently under legislative review. The funds will help Taiwan mass-produce anti-ship and land attack cruise missiles over the next five years.

Last week, Taiwan's defense minister, Chiu Kuo-cheng, told parliamentarians that China's armed forces would possess the capability to invade Taiwan at a minimal cost by 2025.

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China needs a stronger message to 'tamp down' aggression against Taiwan .
Washington muddles along with its policy of strategic ambiguity, unchanged since the Clinton administration.His formulaic message is not commensurate with China's increasingly aggressive actions. Beijing has heard it all before, for decades. What it has never heard - except transiently from George W. Bush and only implicitly from Donald Trump - is that America will defend Taiwan.

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