Tensions between China and Taiwan are at their worst in 40 years. The Defense Minister of Taiwan is warning of the risk of an accidental strike between the two.
The comments of Chiu Kuo-Cheng came after China sent a record number of military jets to the air defense zone of Taiwan for four days.
Taiwan thinks of itself as a sovereign state. However, China looks at it as a breakaway province. It has not ruled out its possible use of force to achieve unification.
Even though the Chinese jets have not flown to the island, Mr. Chiu further warned that there is a risk of misfire or an accidental strike.
The air defense zone of Taiwan monitors for threats. It extends over an area that converts up the Taiwan Strait and a large swathe from the Chinese mainland. They consider all the jets crossing an unofficial line between China and Taiwan in the form of incursion.
Mr. Chiu further warned that China would be capable of mounting a compel full-scale invasion of the island by 2025. He was speaking as Taipei’s parliamentary committee considered a multi-billion-dollar defense bill to build up warships and missiles.
It has been further acknowledged that China can already invade. Hence such a move would become easier in the coming days.
Taiwan separated from China as the communists seized power in 1949. Analysts further warned that Beijing is becoming concerned that the government of Taiwan is moving the island towards formal independence. It wants to deter its President Tsai Ing-Wen from taking any steps in that direction.
Several allies of Taiwan have expressed their concern at the open display of the Chinese military.
US President Joe Biden has said that Xi Jinping agreed to abide by the agreement of Taiwan. Mr.Biden was referring to the longstanding one-China policy of Washington. It recognizes China rather than Taiwan. This agreement allows Washington to maintain an unofficial relationship with Taiwan. The US sells arms to Taiwan.
“I’ve spoken with [Mr] Xi about Taiwan. We agree … we’ll abide by the Taiwan agreement,” said President Biden. “We made it clear that I don’t think he should be doing anything other than abiding by the agreement.”
Despite the tensions, the relations between China and Taiwan had not deteriorated to the levels after 1996 when China retired to disrupt their presidential election. China opted for missile tests in Taiwan. The US dispatched aircraft carriers to the region to dissuade them.