Taiwan would fight to the end if China attacks, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said yesterday, adding that the US can see a danger that this could happen amid mounting Chinese military pressure, including aircraft carrier drills near the nation.
Taiwan has reported repeated military activities by Beijing in the past few months, with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force making almost daily forays in Taiwan’s air defense identification zone.
On Monday, China said that an aircraft carrier group was exercising close to the nation.
Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs via CNA
“From my limited understanding of American decisionmakers watching developments in this region, they clearly see the danger of the possibility of China launching an attack against Taiwan,” Wu told reporters at the ministry in Taipei.
“We are willing to defend ourselves without any questions and we will fight the war if we need to fight the war,” he said. “And if we need to defend ourselves to the very last day, we will defend ourselves to the very last day.”
Washington has been pushing Taipei to modernize its military so it can become a “porcupine,” or difficult for China to attack.
Taiwan is determined to improve its military capabilities and spend more on defense, Wu said.
“The defense of Taiwan is our responsibility,” he said. “We will try every way we can to improve our defense capability.”
The Ministry of National Defense said at a separate event that this month it would run eight days of computer-aided war games simulating a Chinese attack on Taiwan, forming the first phase of Taiwan’s largest annual war games, the Han Kuang exercises.
A second phase, including live-fire drills, is scheduled for July.
“The drills are designed based on the toughest enemy threats, simulating all possible scenarios of an enemy invasion of Taiwan,” Major General Liu Yu-ping (劉豫屏) told reporters.
The second phase of the war games would involve mobilizing about 8,000 reservists to join live-fire, anti-landing drills, and hospitals holding drills to deal with an influx of heavy casualties.
Asked whether the American Institute in Taiwan would send representatives to the drills, such a plan was “discussed,” but “will not be implemented,” Liu said, citing military sensitivity.
Taiwan has not said where the Chinese carrier group is currently, or if it will next go to the disputed South China Sea, where a US carrier group is operating.
Deputy Minister of National Defense Chang Che-ping (張哲平) said in the legislature in Taipei that the Chinese carrier’s movements were being closely monitored, describing its drills as routine.
The Han Kuang exercises, the nation’s major war games, are to start today and run for five days. The drills are to include a military aircraft emergency takeoff and landing exercise on a regular roadway on Wednesday, featuring all three fighter jet models in Taiwan’s fleet, a military source said last week. The drill is to begin at 6:30am on a 3km section of Provincial Highway No. 1 in Pingtung County’s Jiadong Township (佳冬), and feature an Indigenous Defense Fighter, an F-16V, a Mirage 2000-5 and an E-2K Hawkeye early warning aircraft, the source said. The emergency landing and takeoff drill aims to
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