Beijing, Oct 6 (EFE).- Taiwanese Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said Wednesday that China will be “capable of organizing a large-scale invasion” of the island by 2025, and said relations between Taipei and Beijing are going through “their worst moment in 40 years”.
According to Chiu, according to Taiwanese news agency CNA, Beijing already has “the capacity to attack the island, but at a high cost,” which would be lower by 2025, the year in which the minister foresees that China could “organize a large-scale invasion”.
“Taiwan will not cause it to be attacked. However, we are in the worst moment of cross-strait relations since I started in the Army 40 years ago,” Chiu said in reference to the latest sorties by Chinese planes – nearly 150 in the last few days – in the Taiwanese Air Defense Identification Zone.
Chiu said Taiwan must be “prepared,” noting that 64 percent of this year’s defense budget will be allocated to anti-ship systems and developing Hsiung Feng III supersonic missiles to counter China’s Type 075 amphibious assault ships.
Chiu’s statements come after his portfolio said almost 150 Chinese combat aircraft entered Taiwan’s zone in recent days, which is not defined or regulated by any international treaty and is not equivalent to its airspace, but encompasses a larger area that includes mainland China areas.
The United States urged China to end this practice, which it described as “provocative” and “destabilizing,” something Beijing rebuked, saying Washington must “stop supporting the forces that are in favor of ‘Taiwan’s independence’ and instead take measures to maintain peace and stability.”
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen told US publication Foreign Affairs on Tuesday that “Taiwan will do everything necessary to defend its democracy if it is threatened.”
“Failure to defend Taiwan would not only be catastrophic for the Taiwanese, but would also nullify the security architecture that has enabled peace and extraordinary economic development in the region for seven decades,” she said.
Taiwan, or Republic of China, is considered a sovereign territory with its own government and political system since the end of the 1949 civil war between nationalists and communists, but Beijing says it is a rebellious province and insists it return to what it calls the common homeland.
The island is also one of the main reasons for conflict between China and the United States, mainly because Washington is the main arms supplier to Taiwan and would be its greatest military ally in the event of a possible war with China. EFE