Taiwan will fight “to the end” if China attacks it, said the island’s Minister of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday, Joseph Wu, who added that allies such as Japan or the United States they are “closely following” Beijing’s latest military maneuvers near their territory.
“We are ready to defend ourselves and there is no doubt that we will fight a war if we have to fight it, and if we have to defend ourselves until the last day we will. We are ready to raise our defense budget, to reorganize our Army or to try to reinforce our reserve forces, “Wu said at a press conference with international media.
The statements took place within the framework of a growing tension between Taipei and Beijing, generated by the increase in the number of incursions of the latter into the territory of the former. In fact, the Chinese Navy indicated on Tuesday that it will continue to carry out training exercises in waters near Taiwan “on a routine basis” and confirmed that the Liaoning aircraft carrier carried out such actions recently.
Likewise, the Taiwanese Defense portfolio announced that A total of 15 Chinese Army aircraft flew over its air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Wednesday.
On March 26, the Taiwanese authorities reported the detection of the largest incursion of Chinese military aircraft into their ADIZ – an area not regulated by any international agreement – since September last year, hours after Taipei and Washington signed their first agreement with Joe Biden’s administration.
And today, the head of the government body in charge of Taiwanese marine policy, Lee Chung-wei indicated that Chinese drones have been detected near the disputed Pratas Islands. If they enter Taiwanese waters, he warned, they could be shot down.
“I believe that our allies, such as Japan or the United States, are closely following (the situation),” said the island’s foreign minister.
Relations between Taipei and Beijing have cracked since the coming to power, in 2016, of the current Taiwanese president, the independentista Tsai Ing-wen.
Tensions between the two parties continued to increase considerably during the term of Donald Trump (2017-2021), who gave priority to strengthening relations with Taiwan – including the sale of arms – despite the fact that since 1979 the relations between Washington and Taipei are officially informal.
“The Defense of Taiwan is our responsibility. We take it very seriously because, if we are not willing to defend ourselves, we have no right to ask other countries to sacrifice for Taiwan “Wu said today after being asked whether Taipei seeks to buy more weapons from the United States.
On the other hand, the Defense portfolio announced this Wednesday that it will carry out its military exercises held annually from July 12 to 16 with an eye to “increasing the defensive capabilities” of the island and “preventing any enemy from attacking Taiwan ”According to Radio Taiwan International.
Before, on April 23, Taiwan will carry out another simulation, with the help of computers, of “all possible scenarios of an invasion” of the island, depending on the portfolio.
Wu also recalled that Taiwan has been “militarily threatened” by China “for years.”, and that it is not a “particularly alarming” situation, but he also indicated that “in the last couple of years” the frequency of Chinese military maneuvers near the island has increased.
“I think they understand that Taiwan is not going to shoot first and start a war with China.” said Wu, who considered that the Xi Jinping regime is “taking every opportunity to threaten Taiwan.”
“Faced with the expansionism of Chinese authoritarianism, Taiwan is on the front line. And we have to protect ourselves, protect our sovereignty and territorial integrity, and at the same time understand that we have a responsibility to protect democracy and freedom. Taiwan is a free place and we need to ensure that it remains free, ”the Taiwanese Foreign Minister said during the conference.
Beijing considers Taiwan to be part of the territory of the People’s Republic of China since the end of the civil war waged more than 70 years ago when the nationalist Kuomintang troops took refuge on the island after the victory of the Communists.
Since then, the territory has been governed autonomously under the name of the Republic of China.
For its part, the Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post reported that in recent days Several US military vessels have also sailed the waters of the East China Sea and the South China Sea, and they have carried out training exercises with regional allies such as Japan.
The presence of US ships in the South China Sea, according to some analysts, would serve to send a message of support to the Philippines, whose government recently described as a “lie” that the more than 200 Chinese ships anchored in those waters are protecting themselves from adverse weather conditions.
While Beijing assures that these boats are fishing boats, Manila denounces that it is a maritime militia that serves to consolidate Chinese control over those waters.
With information from EFE