‘China won’t try to attack in Tsai’s term’

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Chen ruled out the possibility of a China-Taiwan armed clash elsewhere during her term….reports Asian Lite News

Taiwan’s National Security Bureau chief Chen Ming-tong on Thursday said that China will not try to attack the nation’s remote islands while President Tsai Ing-wen is in office.

Taiwan’s intelligence chief made the remark during a question-and-answer session at the Taiwanese legislature, reported NHK World.

Chen ruled out the possibility of a China-Taiwan armed clash elsewhere during her term.

Regarding the possibility of China’s military attack on Taiwan, Chen said possible scenarios include China’s occupation of remote islands, blockade of the sea and a saturation attack that overwhelms Taiwan’s defense capabilities, reported NHK World.

Chen was specifically asked about media reports saying that the Chinese military may be preparing an attack on the Pratas Islands.

Taiwan effectively controls the islands, which are located in the South China Sea. Beijing claims full sovereignty over Taiwan despite the island’s self-governance for over seven decades. Meanwhile, Taipei continues to counter the Chinese aggression by increasing strategic ties with democracies including the US.

Chen suggested that based on intelligence activities, his bureau has concluded that Beijing is not planning such an attack during Tsai’s presidency, which is set to last until May 2024. He said this issue has already been studied inside China, reported NHK World.

However, he admitted that the tension across the Taiwan Strait is rising compared to before. He stressed that any unplanned incidents must be prevented.

Chen said talks with China would be impossible while the country continues to threaten Taiwan with force.

The comments came in response to the release of the US Department of Defence’s (DOD) China Military Power Report for 2021, which stated that China aims to match American military power in the Indo-Pacific by 2027, with the intention of forcing Taiwan to negotiate on its terms, Taiwan News reported.

“Threats to intimidate Taipei to come to the negotiating table is a long-standing strategy of Beijing but it will not work,” Chen said.

Chen added that the NSB has been paying attention to this approach for a long time and that it continually monitors the situation to identify potential points in time when China may try to leverage this pressure to realise its goals, Taiwan News reported.

Meanwhile, when Chen was asked by reporters whether Taiwan has any recent intel regarding the DOD’s estimate that China plans to have more than 1,000 nuclear missiles in its arsenal by 2030, he answered in the affirmative.

Taiwan is a democracy of almost 24 million people located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The two sides have been governed separately for more than seven decades.

Taipei, on the other hand, has countered the Chinese aggression by increasing strategic ties with democracies including the US, which have been repeatedly opposed by Beijing.

China has also threatened that “Taiwan’s independence” means war. On June 1, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to complete reunification with self-ruled Taiwan and vowed to smash any attempts at formal independence for the island. (ANI)

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