17 March 2017

News Story: Major Taiwan defence report warns of China invasion risk

Taiwan pledged Wednesday to build up its military in the face of an increased risk of invasion by China in a major defence ministry report that comes as ties with Beijing worsen.

China still sees Taiwan as part of its territory to be brought back into its fold, by force if necessary, even though the island has been self-governing since the two sides split after a civil war in 1949.

Beijing is deeply suspicious of president Tsai Ing-wen, whose Democratic Progressive Party is traditionally pro-independence.

Taiwan has never declared formal independence and last week China's premier Li Keqiang said authorities would not tolerate "any attempts to separate Taiwan from the motherland".

It has severed all official communications with Taipei since Tsai became leader in May and has reportedly discouraged Chinese visitors from travelling to the island.

In a summary of a four-yearly report to be delivered to parliament Thursday, Taiwan's defence ministry said it wanted to build a bolstered "multi-layer defence front" including submarines, missiles and drones which it hoped would act as a deterrent.

If there was still an attempted invasion, combined interception forces would "weaken the enemy's capabilities and crush its attacks to deter it from landing on the island".

The report summary said Beijing had never given up on its desire to invade.

"Preparing for a war to invade Taiwan is a major goal of its military preparation," the summary said.

Read the full story at SinoDaily