China is conducting exercises, while at the same time Taiwan is arming itself
This post was published in Defence24. The point of view expressed in this article is authorial and do not necessarily reflect BM`s editorial stance.
WARSAW, (BM) – What has already been announced has happened, i.e. China is to make a show of strength in the course of military maneuvers, which are Beijing’s direct response to the visit of the American official delegation to Taiwan. However, the Taiwanese authorities are also not passive and indicate that an increase in the defense budget is planned for the next year.
China emphasizes that it had to take the necessary steps to secure sovereignty and security in the region. Of course, it is about the commenced military exercises within the Theater Eastern Command. They involve a number of units and are conducted near the strategic Taiwan Strait. Their military goal is to test combat readiness and the possibility of cooperation between various formations.
And a political response to the visit of the official delegation from the United States, led by the American secretary of health, to Taiwan. Beijing believes that such behavior on the part of the United States (not directly indicated, but you can safely read it) sends the wrong signals against what is known in China as “separatist forces”.
The spokesman of the local Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zhao Lijian, presented the matter clearly, neither, nor under any circumstances – e.g. the COVID19 pandemic, official US-Taiwanese relations should not take place and Beijing is strongly against them. It must be remembered that for the Chinese authorities there is no such thing as the Republic of China in Taiwan and we are dealing with the so-called a rebellious province that is part of the territory of the People’s Republic of China.
However, in the context of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s exercises near Taiwan, the Taiwanese defense minister chills emotions. It was intended to indicate that normal citizens on the island had nothing to fear.
The Chinese side is also sending out signals of opposition to any existing and possible Taiwanese arms purchases in the United States. The Global Times points out that, first of all, potential new cruise missile systems or sea mines will not significantly affect the capabilities of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.
Possible talks with the Americans regarding the purchase of new SeaGuardian unmanned aerial vehicles were also noted. The latter would increase the reconnaissance and patrol capabilities of the Taiwanese armed forces.
The Republic of China itself in Taiwan is to consider an increase in the defense budget by 10.2 percent. compared to the current sums spent on military matters. President Tsai Ing-wen is to focus on strengthening the Taiwanese armed forces, especially in the area of the ability to counter enemy sea and air landings. What is more, her party’s advantage in the local parliament probably guarantees a new, increased dimension of the budget.
Thus, the search for additional anti-ship missiles and sea mines, as well as the purchase of heavy torpedoes, closely monitored and criticized by Beijing, will be finalized. Choosing Washington as a partner that can offer not only the transfer of modern technologies, but also political support following military contracts. Hence the emphasis on the importance of, for example, the purchase of M1A2 Abrams MBTs (106 units) and 77 F-16V combat aircraft. In total, the US State Department was to approve $ 10 billion Taiwanese purchases.
Interestingly, it is even noted in the United States that in the case of MBTs, you can count more on a political effect than on a practical one. Looking at the issues of, for example, moving around the island, such large tanks.
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