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World Taiwan tensions raise fears of US-China conflict in Asia

05:50  14 october  2021
05:50  14 october  2021 Source:   msn.com

China wants the world to know it's 'not going to get pushed around' on Taiwan

  China wants the world to know it's 'not going to get pushed around' on Taiwan As countries including the U.S. deepen ties with the self-ruling island, Beijing is using military and other means to assert its territorial claims.But as Mia Hou of Taiwan took her turn, the red, white and blue Taiwanese flag — which had appeared earlier in the livestream — had disappeared. Organizers had removed the flag without warning after authorities in China, which claims the self-ruling island of Taiwan as its territory, stopped the livestream on platforms in the mainland.

After sending a record number of military aircraft to harass Taiwan over China ’s National Day holiday, Beijing has toned down the saber rattling but tensions remain high, with the rhetoric and reasoning behind the exercises unchanged. Experts agree a direct conflict is unlikely at the moment, but as the future of self-ruled Taiwan increasingly becomes a powder keg, a mishap or miscalculation could lead to confrontation while Chinese and American ambitions are at odds. China seeks to bring the strategically and symbolically important island back under its control, and the U . S . sees Taiwan in the

The US is "deeply concerned" about actions that undermine peace across the Taiwan Strait, US national security adviser Jake Sullivan has told the BBC. His comments come after China sent a "record number" of military jets into Taiwan 's air defence zone for four days in a row, in a public show of force. " We are going to stand up and speak out, both privately and publicly when we see the kinds of activities that are fundamentally destabilising," Mr Sullivan told the BBC's diplomatic correspondent James Landale in Brussels on Thursday, a day after meeting China 's top diplomat Yang Jiechi.

BANGKOK (AP) — After sending a record number of military aircraft to harass Taiwan over China’s National Day holiday, Beijing has toned down the saber rattling but tensions remain high, with the rhetoric and reasoning behind the exercises unchanged.

In this photo released by the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, the United Kingdom's carrier strike group led by HMS Queen Elizabeth (R 08), and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Forces led by (JMSDF) Hyuga-class helicopter destroyer JS Ise (DDH 182) joined with U.S. Navy carrier strike groups led by flagships USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) sails to conduct multiple carrier strike group operations in the Philippine Sea, on Oct. 3, 2021. After sending a record number of military aircraft to harass Taiwan over China’s National Day holiday weekend, Beijing has toned down the sabre rattling but tensions remain high, with the rhetoric and reasoning behind the exercises unchanged. (Jason Tarleton/U.S. Navy via AP) © Provided by Associated Press In this photo released by the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, the United Kingdom's carrier strike group led by HMS Queen Elizabeth (R 08), and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Forces led by (JMSDF) Hyuga-class helicopter destroyer JS Ise (DDH 182) joined with U.S. Navy carrier strike groups led by flagships USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) sails to conduct multiple carrier strike group operations in the Philippine Sea, on Oct. 3, 2021. After sending a record number of military aircraft to harass Taiwan over China’s National Day holiday weekend, Beijing has toned down the sabre rattling but tensions remain high, with the rhetoric and reasoning behind the exercises unchanged. (Jason Tarleton/U.S. Navy via AP)

Experts agree a direct conflict is unlikely at the moment, but as the future of self-ruled Taiwan increasingly becomes a powder keg, a mishap or miscalculation could lead to confrontation while Chinese and American ambitions are at odds.

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.

© Sam Yeh A CH-47 Chinook helicopter carries a Taiwan flag during national day celebrations in Taipei on October 10, 2021. As tensions flare over Taiwan , China and the United States are both trying to lay down firm markers. A crucial question is whether the nuclear-armed powers know what level of pressure is just right. Among the slew of disputes between the world's two largest economies, Taiwan is often seen as the only one that could bring hot conflict as Beijing considers the self-ruling US -aligned democracy a province awaiting reunification.

As tensions flare over Taiwan , China and the United States are both trying to lay down firm markers. A crucial question is whether the nuclear-armed powers know what level of pressure is just right. Among the slew of disputes between the world's two largest economies, Taiwan is often seen as the only one that could bring hot conflict as Beijing considers the self-ruling US -aligned democracy a province awaiting reunification. © Sam Yeh A CH-47 Chinook helicopter carries a Taiwan flag during national day celebrations in Taipei on October 10, 2021.

China seeks to bring the strategically and symbolically important island back under its control, and the U.S. sees Taiwan in the context of broader challenges from China.

“From the U.S. perspective, the concept of a great power rivalry with China has driven this back up the agenda,” said Henry Boyd, a Britain-based defense analyst with the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

“The need to stand up to China is a strong enough motivating factor that not taking this fight would also be seen as a betrayal of American national interests.”

China claims Taiwan as its own, and controlling the island is a key component of Beijing’s political and military thinking. Leader Xi Jinping on the weekend again emphasized “reunification of the nation must be realized, and will definitely be realized” — a goal made more realistic with massive improvements to China’s armed forces over the last two decades.

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.

As tensions flare over Taiwan , China and the United States are both trying to lay down firm markers. A crucial question is whether the nuclear-armed powers know what level of pressure is just right. Among the slew of disputes between the world's two largest economies, Taiwan is often seen as the only one that could bring hot conflict as Beijing considers the self-ruling US -aligned democracy a province awaiting reunification. © Sam Yeh A CH-47 Chinook helicopter carries a Taiwan flag during national day celebrations in Taipei on October 10, 2021.

US - China conflict could prove even more dangerous than the Soviet-American Cold War. It has become commonplace to compare the escalating Sino-American rivalry with the Soviet-American Cold War. The China-US case vividly demonstrates that globalization and the associated rise of interdependence that have long been advertised as forces for international peace are a double-edged sword and can just as easily poison relations between nations. Kenneth Waltz, one of the greatest theorists of international relations, writing back in 1970, sagaciously noted that “close

In this photo released by the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, the United Kingdom's carrier strike group led by HMS Queen Elizabeth (R 08), and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Forces led by (JMSDF) Hyuga-class helicopter destroyer JS Ise (DDH 182) joined with U.S. Navy carrier strike groups led by flagships USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) to conduct multiple carrier strike group operations in the Philippine Sea, on OCt. 3, 2021. After sending a record number of military aircraft to harass Taiwan over China’s National Day holiday weekend, Beijing has toned down the sabre rattling but tensions remain high, with the rhetoric and reasoning behind the exercises unchanged. (Michael Jarmiolowski/U.S. Navy  via AP) © Provided by Associated Press In this photo released by the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, the United Kingdom's carrier strike group led by HMS Queen Elizabeth (R 08), and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Forces led by (JMSDF) Hyuga-class helicopter destroyer JS Ise (DDH 182) joined with U.S. Navy carrier strike groups led by flagships USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) to conduct multiple carrier strike group operations in the Philippine Sea, on OCt. 3, 2021. After sending a record number of military aircraft to harass Taiwan over China’s National Day holiday weekend, Beijing has toned down the sabre rattling but tensions remain high, with the rhetoric and reasoning behind the exercises unchanged. (Michael Jarmiolowski/U.S. Navy via AP)

In response, the U.S. has been increasing support for Taiwan and more broadly turning its focus to the Indo-Pacific region. U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price on Tuesday emphasized that American support for Taiwan is “rock solid,” saying “we have also been very clear that we are committed to deepening our ties with Taiwan.”

Biden says U.S. has "commitment" to defend Taiwan if China attacks

  Biden says U.S. has The White House quickly walked back his remark, but amid questions over Washington's long-held policy of "strategic ambiguity," China warns the U.S. not to send "wrong signals.""Yes, we have a commitment," the president declared after being asked during a CNN Town Hall in Baltimore, Maryland whether the U.S. would defend Taiwan in the face of an attack by China.

Numerous Chinese and US military exercises, Taiwan missiles tracking Chinese fighters and plummeting China - US ties make for a heady cocktail of tension that is raising fears of conflict touched off by a crisis over Taiwan . Meanwhile Taiwan , claimed by China as its “sacred” territory, said its surface-to-air missiles had tracked approaching Chinese fighters – details Taiwan does not normally give – as US Health Secretary Alex Azar was visiting the island this month. Addressing the Chinese exercises, Taiwan ’s defence ministry said on Tuesday (25 August) the closer Chinese jets

Mounting tensions between the US and China have led to fears of a confrontation over Taiwan . Numerous Chinese and US military exercises, Taiwan missiles tracking Chinese fighters and worsening China - US ties have all sounded alarm bells. In the last three weeks, China has announced four separate exercises along its Taiwan -based security and diplomatic sources say the chances of "firing off a shot while polishing the gun" - a Chinese saying for an accidental encounter setting off a broader conflict - are rising mainly because of increased US and Chinese military activity in the region.

Washington’s longstanding policy has been to provide political and military support for Taiwan, while not explicitly promising to defend it from a Chinese attack.

The two sides came perhaps the closest to blows in 1996, when China, irked by what it saw as increasing American support for Taiwan, decided to flex its muscle with exercises that included firing missiles into the waters some 30 kilometers (20 miles) from Taiwan’s coast ahead of Taiwan’s first popular presidential election.

FILE - In this Oct. 9, 2021, file photo, Chinese President Xi Jinping applauds during an event commemorating the 110th anniversary of Xinhai Revolution at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. After sending a record number of military aircraft to harass Taiwan over China’s National Day holiday weekend, Beijing has toned down the sabre rattling but tensions remain high, with the rhetoric and reasoning behind the exercises unchanged. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Oct. 9, 2021, file photo, Chinese President Xi Jinping applauds during an event commemorating the 110th anniversary of Xinhai Revolution at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. After sending a record number of military aircraft to harass Taiwan over China’s National Day holiday weekend, Beijing has toned down the sabre rattling but tensions remain high, with the rhetoric and reasoning behind the exercises unchanged. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

The U.S. responded with its own show of force, sending two aircraft carrier groups to the region. At the time, China had no aircraft carriers and little means to threaten the American ships, so it backed down.

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.

Stung by the episode, China embarked upon a massive overhaul of its military, and 25 years later, it has significantly improved missile defenses that could easily strike back, and equipped or built its own aircraft carriers.

The U.S. Defense Department’s recent report to Congress noted that in 2000, it assessed China’s armed forces to be “a sizable but mostly archaic military” but that today it is a rival, having already surpassed the American military in some areas including shipbuilding to the point where it now has the world’s largest navy.

FILE - In this Oct. 10, 2021, file photo, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen delivers a speech during National Day celebrations in front of the Presidential Building in Taipei, Taiwan. After sending a record number of military aircraft to harass Taiwan over China’s National Day holiday weekend, Beijing has toned down the sabre rattling but tensions remain high, with the rhetoric and reasoning behind the exercises unchanged. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Oct. 10, 2021, file photo, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen delivers a speech during National Day celebrations in front of the Presidential Building in Taipei, Taiwan. After sending a record number of military aircraft to harass Taiwan over China’s National Day holiday weekend, Beijing has toned down the sabre rattling but tensions remain high, with the rhetoric and reasoning behind the exercises unchanged. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying, File)

Counting ships isn’t the best way to compare capabilities — the U.S. Navy has 11 aircraft carriers to China’s two, for example — but in the event of a conflict over Taiwan, China would be able to deploy almost the entirety of its naval forces, and also has land-based anti-ship missiles to add to the fight, said Boyd, a co-author of IISS’s annual Military Balance assessment of global armed forces.

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.


Video: What Is The ‘One China’ Policy? U.S.-Taiwan Relations Explained (Newsweek)

“China’s concept of operations regarding Taiwan is that if they can delay the U.S. presence in the fight, or restrict the numbers that they’re able to put into the fight because we’re able to hold their forward assets at some level of risk, they can beat the Taiwanese before the Americans show up in enough force to do something about it,” he said.

Taiwan’s own strategy is the mirror image — delaying China long enough for the U.S. and its allies to show up in force. It has significant military forces itself, and the advantage of fighting on its home turf. A recent policy paper also notes the need for asymmetric measures, which could include things like missile attacks on mainland China ammunition or fuel dumps.

Taiwan’s defense department’s assessment of China’s capabilities, presented to parliament in August and obtained by The Associated Press, says China already has the ability to seal Taiwan’s ports and airports, but currently lacks the transport and logistical support for large-scale joint landing operations — though is improving by the day.

FILE - In this Oct. 10, 2021, file photo, Taiwanese soldiers salute during National Day celebrations in front of the Presidential Building in Taipei, Taiwan. After sending a record number of military aircraft to harass Taiwan over China’s National Day holiday weekend, Beijing has toned down the sabre rattling but tensions remain high, with the rhetoric and reasoning behind the exercises unchanged. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Oct. 10, 2021, file photo, Taiwanese soldiers salute during National Day celebrations in front of the Presidential Building in Taipei, Taiwan. After sending a record number of military aircraft to harass Taiwan over China’s National Day holiday weekend, Beijing has toned down the sabre rattling but tensions remain high, with the rhetoric and reasoning behind the exercises unchanged. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying, File)

In a new strategic guidance policy last week, U.S. Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro, identified China as the “most significant” long term challenge.

The US can't fight China for Taiwan, but it can help Taiwan make China think twice about starting a war

  The US can't fight China for Taiwan, but it can help Taiwan make China think twice about starting a war The best way to deter China from attacking Taiwan is to encourage Taiwan to invest in its own ability to make China pay if it ever resorts to force.On Friday, the semi-official mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, the Global Times, warned the presence of US troops in Taiwan will accelerate "preparations for military actions" and that once "war breaks out in the Taiwan Straits, those US. Military personnel will be the first to be eliminated.

“For the first time in at least a generation, we have a strategic competitor who possesses naval capabilities that rival our own, and who seeks to aggressively employ its forces to challenge U.S. principles, partnerships and prosperity,” the paper said.

China, over its National Day weekend at the beginning of the month, sent a record 149 military aircraft southwest of Taiwan in strike group formations — in international airspace but into the island’s buffer zone, prompting Taiwan to scramble its defenses.

On Monday China announced it had carried out beach landing and assault drills in the mainland province directly opposite Taiwan.

Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman the government's Taiwan Affairs Office, justified the actions as necessary, saying Wednesday they were provoked by “Taiwan independence forces” colluding with “external forces.”

“With every step the Chinese are trying to change the status quo and normalize the situation through this salami slicing," said Hoo Tiang Boon, coordinator of the China program at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. "They know Taiwan cannot do anything about it, and the danger is that possibility of miscalculations or mishaps do exist.”

Taiwan and China split in 1949 amid a civil war, with Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists fleeing to the island as Mao Zedong’s Communists swept to power.

In a 2019 defense white paper, Beijing said it advocates “peaceful reunification of the country” — a phrase repeated by Xi over the weekend — but is also unequivocal in its goals.

“China must and will be reunited,” the paper reads. “We make no promise to renounce the use of force, and reserve the option of taking all necessary measures.”

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, meantime, has been making the case for more global support, writing in the most recent edition of Foreign Affairs magazine that “if Taiwan were to fall, the consequences would be catastrophic for regional peace and the democratic alliance system.”

“A failure to defend Taiwan would not only be catastrophic for the Taiwanese," she wrote. "It would overturn a security architecture that has allowed for peace and extraordinary economic development in the region for seven decades.”

U.S. law requires it to assist Taiwan in maintaining a defensive capability and to treat threats to the island as a matter of “grave concern.”

Washington has recently acknowledged that U.S. special forces are on the island in a training capacity, and it has been stepping up multi-national maneuvers in the region as part of a stated commitment to a “free and open Indo-Pacific.” They included an exercise involving 17 ships from six navies — the U.S., Britain, Japan, Netherlands, Canada and New Zealand off the Japanese island of Okinawa earlier this month.

Washington also signed a deal last month in concert with Britain to provide Australia with nuclear-powered submarines, which China said would “seriously damage regional peace and stability.”

“The Americans are trying to bring in the allies on a united front,” said Hoo. “There’s a growing internationalization of the Taiwan issue.”

Right now, neither side's armed forces feels fully prepared for a conflict over Taiwan, but in the end it may not be their decision, Boyd said.

“It's not going to be up to the military," he said. “It's going to be up to the politicians.”

_____

Associated Press writers Matthew Lee in Washington and Huizhong Wu in Taipei, Taiwan contributed to this report.

France, Taiwan Meet Despite China Warning That Talks Will Damage Relationship With French .
Ahead of the trip, China tried to discourage the French senators from going to Taiwan.Ahead of the trip, China attempted to discourage the senators from visiting. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a September 30 news conference that Beijing was opposed to relations between France and Taiwan.

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