TAIPEI, ($1=27.74 Taiwan New Dollar) – The Ministry of Defense of the Republic of China [ROC] or Taiwan reports increased Chinese activity of Chinese aircraft in its southwestern airspace, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing a statement from the Taiwanese military.
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On December 22, an electronic warfare aircraft [Y-8 EB], a reconnaissance aircraft [Y-8 ELINT], and two J-16 fighters of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force approached the dangerously permissible air border with Taiwan’s southwestern airspace.
In response, Taiwan blew up its fighters, launched warning radios to withdraw Chinese planes, and put them on alert by deploying its air defense system. These actions are described in the Taiwanese military’s briefing on the December 22 incident.
Just four days earlier, on December 19, the action was repeated in the same area of Taiwan’s southwestern airspace, but this time China was sending only a Y-8 RECCE reconnaissance aircraft.
In both incidents, Chinese planes provoked dangerously close Taiwanese counterparts, after which they took action to withdraw and return to their airbase. However, it is clear from the published communiqués of the Taiwanese military that China provokes every day by sending either reconnaissance or electronic warplanes near Taiwanese airspace and always in one area – the southwest.
BulgariaMilitary.com reminds you that in October, China flew a record number of aircraft near Taiwanese airspace throughout the month, with 38 military aircraft in just one day [October 2].
Taipei has repeatedly stated that China is preparing for an invasion of Taiwan and can achieve its goals through military force in just one month.
“By 2025, China will be fully prepared for a full-scale invasion of Taiwan,” the Taiwanese Defense Minister Qiu Guojian told lawmakers as he considered an $ 8.6 billion military budget. He noted: “Now he has such opportunities, but it will not be easy for him to start a war, as he will have to take into account many other factors.” The official said the current situation in the Taiwan Strait is the tensest in 40 years.
China and Taiwan: What’s Happening Now?
China regards Taiwan as a breakaway province and is committed to reclaiming it. However, many Taiwanese want to live in a separate state. The dispute makes the situation in the region tense, there is a threat of a conflict in which the United States may also take part.
After decades of hostility and aggressive rhetoric, relations between China and Taiwan began to improve in the 1980s.
China has put forward a formula known as “one country, two systems”, according to which Taiwan will be given significant autonomy if it agrees to reunite with mainland China. The offer was rejected, but Taiwan has simplified the rules for visiting and investing in China. He also declared the end of the war with the People’s Republic of China in 1991.
There were also limited negotiations between unofficial representatives of both sides. China’s position that the power of the Republic of China is illegitimate hinders contacts between governments.
In 2000, Beijing was concerned about the election of President Chen Shui-bian in Taiwan, who openly supported the island’s independence. Chen Shui-bian was re-elected in 2004, prompting China in 2005 to pass the so-called anti-secession law, which spoke of the PRC’s right to use “non-peaceful means” against Taiwan if it tries to secede from China.
In 2008, Ma Ying-jeou was elected president on the island. He sought to improve relations with China, mainly through economic agreements. In the January 2016 elections, Tsai Ing-wen defeated Kuomintang candidate Eric Chu.
Ms. Tsai leads the Democratic Progressive Party [DPP], which is leaning towards independence from China.
After Donald Trump won the 2016 U.S. election, Tsai Ing-wen spoke to him on the phone. This conversation ran counter to American policy established in 1979 when official relations between the United States and Taiwan ended.
Throughout 2018, China stepped up pressure on international companies to list Taiwan as part of China on their websites and threatened to ban them from doing business in China if they did not. In November, Cai Ing-wen’s political party was defeated in regional elections in what Beijing saw as a blow to its separatist stance.
How problematic is Taiwan’s independence?
Although political progress has been slow, ties between the two peoples and economies have increased dramatically. Taiwanese companies have invested about $ 60 billion in China, and about a million Taiwanese now live there, working in Taiwanese factories.
Some Taiwanese are concerned that their economy is now dependent on China. Others point out that closer business ties make military action by China less likely due to possible losses to the Chinese economy.
A controversial trade agreement between the countries led to the rise of the Sunflower movement in 2014 when students and activists took over the Taiwanese parliament to protest what they described as China’s growing influence over Taiwan.
Officially, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is in favor of Taiwan’s independence, while the Kuomintang is in favor of the possibility of unification.
Opinion polls show that only a small proportion of Taiwanese now support one opinion or the other, with the majority preferring to maintain the current state.
However, more and more people say they feel like Taiwanese and not Chinese. DPP support increased in the January 2016 elections. This was partly attributed to dissatisfaction with the Kuomintang’s economic policies, from the gap between rich and poor to high housing prices, and partly because of fears that Ma Ying-jeou’s administration had made Taiwan too dependent on Beijing.
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