Taiwan needs to be better prepared for offensives by China’s state-backed maritime militia, which Beijing uses to pursue its political, economic and military goals in the region, Taiwanese security analysts said in a study.
China’s maritime militia has been harassing or attacking vessels from other nations in the region, and Taiwan must take steps to counter the threat, researchers Paul Huang (黃恩浩) and Hung Ming-te (洪銘德) wrote in a paper, titled China’s maritime militia and the gray zone conflicts, on June 5.
Huang and Hung, who are with the government-funded Institute for National Defense and Security Research, said the use of this armed fishing vessel militia is part of Beijing’s “gray zone” tactics to defend its interests without having to wage a conventional war.
This prevents the offended party from responding militarily, they said, citing recent incidents.
One occurred on March 30, when several Chinese fishing boats rammed the Japanese destroyer Shimakaze, and another on April 2, when a Chinese coast guard vessel sank a Vietnamese fishing boat with eight fishers onboard, the paper said.
On March 16, more than 10 Chinese fishing boats intentionally rammed a Taiwanese coast guard vessel in waters near Kinmen, Huang and Hung said.
“Although it is difficult to prove that the ramming incident was carried out by Chinese maritime militia, and the nation has yet to notice clear Chinese maritime militia movement in its surrounding waters, we cannot discount such a possibility in the future,” the paper said.
To prepare for aggressive actions by Chinese maritime militia in the region, Taiwan should boost its interactions and cooperation with coast guard administrations in the region, especially Japan’s, it said.
Taiwan should also define rules on the use of force when encountering maritime militia from other nations and bolster the asymmetric capabilities of the navy, as well as the equipment and law enforcement capabilities of the coast guard, the paper said.
“Most importantly, Taiwan should build more corvettes with high mobility and battle capabilities for its navy and coast guard, without affecting major defense budget allocations, to respond to China’s provocations using gray zone tactics,” it said.
China has the biggest maritime militia of any country in the world, consisting of an estimated 370,000 non-motorized boats and 762,000 motorized vessels, the paper said, citing a 2018 report by Nguyen Khac Giang, an analyst at the Vietnam Institute for Economic and Policy Research.
According to Rand Corp researchers Derek Grossman and Logan Ma, these irregular forces reside under the direct command and control of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and play an important role in “establishing a de facto Chinese operating presence in disputed areas.”
Their operations are designed to “win without fighting” by “overwhelming the adversary with swarms of fishing vessels usually bolstered from the rear together with the Chinese coast guard and possibly PLA Navy ships,” they said in an article published on April 6.
A study published by online booking platform Expedia revealed searches for travel to Taipei have ballooned 2,786 percent following the lifting of COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions due to the city being a “designation dupe” for Seoul. The TikTok trend for duping — referring to substituting a designation for a more inexpensive alternative — helped propel interest in Taipei, it said in a consumer survey titled “Unpack ‘24,” which was conducted from September to October in 14 countries. Location dupes are “every bit as delightful as the tried-and-true places travelers love,” Expedia trend tracker Melanie Fish said of the year’s popular alternatives, which
SAFETY IN REGULATION: The proposal states that Chiayi should assess whether it is viable to establish such a district and draft rules to protect clients and sex workers The Chiayi City Council passed a motion yesterday to assess the viability of establishing a regulated red-light district. The council yesterday held its last session of the year, at which its fiscal 2024 budget was approved, along with 61 other proposals. The proposal to assess the viability of establishing a red-light district was put forward by independent Chiayi City Councilor Molly Yen (顏色不分藍綠支持性專區顏色田慎節). The proposal cited 2011 amendments to the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法), which stipulate that city and county governments can pass autonomous regulations on the sex trade to manage the industry and guarantee industry workers’ rights. A ban on the
A small-scale protest that called on the government to cancel its plan to welcome Indian migrant workers in a bid to tackle Taiwan’s labor shortage was held in Taipei yesterday. During the protest, comprised of a few dozen people staged in front of the Presidential Office on Ketagalan Boulevard, the protest’s chief initiator, a woman identified only as “Yuna” said they wanted the central government to reconsider allowing migrant workers from India to enter Taiwan. Most people in Taiwan had little knowledge about the potential plan to allow in Indian migrant workers until a report in the media last month, she
STABILITY AND CHANGE: Flagging in recent polls, Ko this week pledged to maintain President Tsai’s foreign policy, with an emphasis on improving China relations Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday reiterated that he is “deep-green at heart” in response to accusations that he is pivoting his campaign to align closer with the ideology of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the face of flagging polls. Ko made the remark at an agricultural policy conference in Taipei, repeating his comments from an interview with CTS News a day earlier. Ko told the CTS host that he would continue to pursue President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) national defense and foreign policy in general, but with an emphasis on establishing a rapport with