Recently, there has been a sharp increase in Chinese military activity around Taiwan. This was preceded by an official statement by the Chinese Foreign Ministry to the U.S. that if Taiwan secured independence from China, the PRC would immediately attack.
Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe spoke with his U.S. counterpart, Lloyd Austin, at a meeting on security in Asia in Singapore and said that China would fight for control of the island at any cost if left with no other choice. The officials talked for about an hour.
The official U.S. position is that the U.S. supports the “One China” principle, meaning it does not support Taiwan’s independence. However, America is supplying weapons to Taiwan. Lloyd Austin at the summit in Singapore confirmed the US commitment to this policy, although he said that the PRC’s position is extremely provocative and destabilizing.
Wei Fenghe reminded Lloyd Austin about the U.S. arms supplies to Taiwan. He also commented on Austin’s words, “If anyone dares to separate Taiwan from China, the People’s Liberation Army of China will be forced at all costs to prevent attempts to establish ‘Taiwan independence’ in order to protect China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Both sides described the Singapore meeting as a productive and constructive summit. The U.S. Secretary of Defense called it important for the U.S. to maintain contact with the PLA to avoid misunderstandings.
Meanwhile, Taiwan residents are preparing to repel a Chinese assault. Taiwan’s defense ministry reported the largest “visit” of Chinese combat aircraft to its shores since January 30. 30 Chinese Air Force combat aircraft entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone at once. The squadron included two KJ-500 long-range radar detection and control aircraft, eight J-11 fighters, six J-16s, four J-10s, two Su-35, and two Su-30 fighters, and six Y-8s.
The Chinese government’s directive, which was issued on June 14, is also worth noting. Chinese leader Xi Jinping signed a directive authorizing the “non-military” use of military forces, raising fears that Beijing might invade the democratic island of Taiwan under the guise of a “special operation” not classified as war. Xi signed the order, which takes effect on June 15. The provisions aim to protect human life and property, the country’s sovereignty, security and development interests, and world peace and stability in the region. The set of regulations, consisting of six chapters and 59 articles, will serve as the legal basis for the Army’s non-military actions and took effect on June 15, 2022.
Not the most pleasant meeting of the defense ministers of the PRC and the USA, the new directive of the PRC government, and the recent joint exercises of the PRC and the Russian Federation in the region create certain tension, which may lead to a conflict. But for the most part, the sides are now likely to passively threaten each other, which translates into loud statements in the media.
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