Provocations and tension from China are on the rise, but Taiwan is always prepared to defend itself — with or without US help — former minister of national defense Andrew Yang (楊念祖) told a Washington conference on Thursday.
“We always assume that defending ourselves is our own responsibility,” Yang said.
Now an assistant professor at National Sun Yat-sen University, Yang was answering a question as to whether Taiwan had an “unrealistic expectation” about when US help would arrive — or even if it would arrive at all — in the case of a Chinese invasion.
Photo: Taipei Times
“I get asked this question all the time,” he said.
Yang said that as a “responsible, accountable government,” Taipei had to assume it might have to stand alone.
He repeated that in terms of national defense policy, the nation had to take responsibility for itself.
“It is a commitment we have made to our own survival and to our people, and that is very important,” Yang said.
He also told the Jamestown Foundation’s fifth annual China Defense and Security Conference held at the Carnegie Endowment that cybersecurity was “high on the agenda” in terms of defense.
Yang said that Taiwan faced millions of cyberattacks from China and that they came on a daily basis.
He said that Chinese expansion of air and naval activities in the East and South China seas added tension and the threat of escalation to the region.
“Taiwan inevitably is facing challenges and threats in the course of military and security game changes,” he said.
In addition, Taiwan’s challenges and threats were “more imminent” than those faced by other US allies in the region, Yang said.
The military threat from China has remained a daily reality, he said.
“Beijing still holds the option to employ the use of force to achieve political unification,” Yang said.
In a paper prepared for the conference, Yang said that Taiwan and the US shared common concerns regarding the strategic and security situation, particularly China’s increasing naval and air power projection into the East China Sea.
CLOSED FOR DISINFECTION: Two of the three local cases were linked to a cluster infection at a kindergarten, while the other case works at a McDonald’s restaurant The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported three new local COVID-19 infections and 11 imported cases, but no deaths. The local cases are two men and a woman aged between 20 and 80 who reside in Taipei, New Taipei City and Taoyuan, the CECC said in a news release. Two of them are linked to a cluster infection at a kindergarten in New Taipei City’s Banciao District (板橋), said Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is the CECC’s spokesman. He said they are both associated with the mother of a kindergarten student, who was earlier confirmed to have
BIOLOGICAL AGENT: A containment exercise was held in southern Tainan, in response to a mock assault where troops were assumed to be attacked by bioweapons The live-fire component of this year’s annual Han Kuang military exercises, Taiwan’s major war games involving all military branches, began yesterday morning and is to run until Friday to test the armed forces’ capability to fend off a Chinese invasion. The 37th edition of the annual event officially began after the Ministry of National Defense’s Joint Operations Command Center, also known as the Hengshan Command Center, announced the initiation of the five-day live-fire drills. Yesterday’s drills were focused on testing the military’s preservation and maintenance of combat capabilities in the event of a full-scale Chinese invasion. As part of the drills, air force
‘RAISING TAIWAN’S VISIBILITY’: Premier Su Tseng-chang said changing TECRO’s name to include ‘Taiwan’ would make the representative office more recognizable The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday declined comment on a Financial Times report that the name of Taiwan’s representative office in Washington might be changed, saying only that bolstering and upgrading ties with the US has been the government’s long-term objective. The ministry made the comments after the UK-based newspaper reported on that US President Joe Biden’s administration is considering allowing the government to use the word “Taiwan” in the office’s title. The US is “seriously considering a request from Taiwan to change the name of its mission in the US capital from ‘Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office’ [TECRO] to ‘Taiwan
WELCOME BACK: Foreign spouses or minor children of Taiwanese can now directly apply for a visa with representative offices overseas, the CECC said Regulations on applications for entry to the nation by foreign spouses or minor children of Taiwanese have been relaxed effective immediately, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported two new local and three imported cases of COVID-19. Deputy Minister of the Interior Chen Tsung-yen (陳宗彥), deputy head of the center, said the relaxation meant that such applications would be treated as general cases, instead of special ones that are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. “Considering the recent local COVID-19 situation and the needs of foreign spouses and children to visit their family in Taiwan, we are allowing Taiwan’s