It’s an island. It’s a democracy. It is a nation of roughly 25 million people. A retired military commander says that fighting China “won’t take two weeks”.
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In recent weeks, Washington approved the sale of $ 600 million worth of drones and $ 2.37 billion worth of harpoon missiles. They’re the latest in a string of gun deals signed with Washington since 2017.
One of them in particular angered Beijing.
The four large Q-9 SeaGuardian armed reconnaissance aircraft allow Taiwan to conduct long-term armed patrols. The harpoon rocket that flies over the sea has a range of about 250 km. That is, it can reach China’s coastal facilities across the Taiwan Strait.
A few weeks ago, the CCP appointed the publisher of the Global times declared that if the US continued to arm and support Taiwan’s independence, “war would come”.
AGAINST THE DRAGON
Taiwan’s defense pact with the US allows the purchase of weapons of a defensive nature.
It’s been in place for about 50 years. The most famous purchase was the fleet of F-16 Viper fighters on the island.
But Beijing has seen a dramatic modernization and expansion of its military in recent years. Especially among its naval and naval assault forces.
This is what Taipei worried about.
Beijing’s accompanying wolf warrior rhetoric scales that up to alarm. And the urgency and nature of the recent arms purchases reflect this.
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In October, Washington also approved the sale of HIMARS mobile rocket launchers, SLAM-ER air-to-surface missiles, and new sensor capsules for the old F-16s.
The SeaGuardian drones are capable surveillance aircraft that can relay target data and attack land, sea and submarine targets themselves.
“The capability is a deterrent against regional threats and strengthens the recipient’s self-defense,” said a statement from the US Agency for Defense Security Cooperation.
But the Chinese Communist Party insults that its neighbor dares to oppose its demands. And Lieutenant General Yeh speaks out for him.
XI’s five-year plan
The People’s Liberation Army (PLAAF) Air Force dispatched fighter jets this week to join their increasingly regular surveys of Taiwanese airspace.
Beijing recently said it sees it as its own territory and so can do what it wants where it wants.
On Monday, it sent eight fighter jets – including two powerful J-11 flanker interceptors, two J-16 multipurpose fighters, and two older J-10 fighters – to reinforce that claim.
The Chinese Communist Party has just completed its fifth plenary session, a Central Committee meeting and an opportunity for Chairman Xi to set out his agenda.
One point was made very clear. He “stressed the high level of attention paid to outside interference in the affairs of Hong Kong and Macau and pledged to curb these activities in Taiwan resolutely to ensure national sovereignty and stability.”
CCP controlled intelligence service Global times threateningly intoned that Beijing had “learned lessons” from changes to the “one country, two systems” principle that governs its relations with Hong Kong and Taiwan.
This idea was all but abandoned in Hong Kong.
Taiwan seems to be next.
“The Communist Party’s policy package tells the people of Taiwan that the smart ones will realize that reunification will be the only and best choice,” Taiwan academic Li Xiaobing told the Beijing-based news agency.
“Don’t make any problems”
“If Taiwan doesn’t cause problems, the Chinese Communist Party will tolerate it, but eventually his hand will be forced,” he told the Hong Kong-based resident China Review Intelligence service. “Taiwan would only take two weeks,” he said. “Do we really have enough troops? We have to bring the draft back to have a fight. ”
The CCP insists that Taiwan is part of it. Republican Taiwan, however, never surrendered during the 1949 Civil War. And the history of Taiwan’s possession is itself controversial.
“The purchase of harpoon missiles threatens Beijing’s aircraft carriers and their access to the Pacific,” Lieutenant General Yeh told the Hong Kong-based intelligence service. That is interpreted as “hostile”.
“When harpoon missiles are capable of hitting aircraft carriers, they are offensive in nature and no longer defensive,” he claims, adding that Washington “purposely” ignited Taipei-Beijing relations.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry expressed similar sentiments, warning the sales “represent an obvious interference in China’s internal affairs, seriously undermine China’s sovereignty and security interests, send false signals to the separatist forces of Taiwan independence and China-US relations and peace seriously undermine and stability in the cross strait ”.
Jamie Seidel is a freelance writer @ JamieSeidel
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