onsdag 10. november 2021

China Wants to Take Taiwan 'Without a Fight,' Says Defense Report

China is continuing an expansive military buildup as part of a multifaceted campaign to frighten Taiwan into submission and capture the island without firing a single shot. That was the assessment Taiwan provided on Tuesday in publishing its 2021 National Defense Report, a biennial government document that has been tracking the shifting power balance across the Taiwan Strait for the last three decades.

In a report that echoed many of the observations and concerns raised in Japan's own defense white paper in July, Taiwan described the People's Republic of China (PRC) as having ambitions that reach far beyond the so-called first island chain, the frontline of the American alliance system and its maritime deterrent. In a foreword for the report, Taiwan Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said the democratic island was caught in the middle of the "strategic competition" taking place between the United States and the PRC, with the latter "leveraging its comprehensive national power to expand geopolitical influence."

Chiu, the country's former head of intelligence who was appointed defense chief in a February reshuffle, said Taiwan had demonstrated "unquestionable determination and ability" to defend itself, but for the first time openly noted the critical role that Taipei's allies could play in preventing a cross-strait conflict.