China’s military escalation outside Taiwan shows they are ready for a possible invasion, according to Taiwan’s envoy to Norway and Sweden.
Ahead of China’s massive military operation, which will encircle all of Taiwan over the weekend, the small island nation’s envoy to Norway and Sweden, Ambassador Vincent Yao, gave a statement Exclusive interview with VG.
– Yao said we are ready to stand up to Chinese aggression.
Since then, China has moved warships into the Taiwan Strait, launched ballistic missiles over the island and violated Taiwanese airspace with fighter jets and attack helicopters.
VG asked Yao to answer five questions about the military exercises, and how Taiwan is reacting to them. The answers were sent to VG in writing, via the encrypted application Telegram.
– What is your reaction to the Chinese military exercises?
We condemn the aggressive and irresponsible actions of China, which threaten Taiwan’s national security, undermine peace and stability in the region, and affect international trade and navigation, Yao says.
– We have failed, but we have strengthened our military preparedness and are closely following the situation. “We demand that China stop its hostilities immediately,” he added.
China has no intention of this: The Chinese defense warned that the exercises will increase in strength and scope over the next few days, and could be a precursor to an invasion, if there is an escalation of the crisis.
Is it feared that the missiles fired over Taiwan could actually cause damage to the island?
China’s use of ballistic missiles in the airspace of northeastern and southwestern Taiwan particularly affects the safety of aircraft and ships of all countries passing through the regions. The reckless and aggressive military activity in the Taiwan Strait must be condemned and stopped immediately.
Do you see the exercise as preparation for a real invasion?
We believe that the Chinese armed forces have prepared for an emergency in the Taiwan Strait. The Chinese Communist Party has never condemned the use of force against Taiwan. Yao says it cannot be ruled out that China will launch an actual attack.
The envoy said Taiwan has strengthened its defense to ensure that China thinks carefully before provoking wars leads to an actual war.
By strengthening our asymmetric warfare capabilities and working closely with our security partners, Taiwan is determined to defend our freedom and democratic way of life.
Will the exercise prevent the shipment of export/import merchandise? Could it lead to a shortage of goods in Taiwan?
Taiwan was able to continue transportation under Chinese military threats, so there was no shortage of goods. It is also worth noting that the closure of international trade routes in the region will seriously harm the Chinese economy.
Yao believes that China’s intention is to send a signal to Taiwan and other countries trading in the region that China has the ability to control the waters around the island.
– China has also made false claims that the Taiwan Strait does not constitute international waters and that China has sovereignty and jurisdiction over the Taiwan Strait. He believes that the rest of the world should reject such a claim and continue to exercise freedom of navigation in the Taiwan Strait.
How good is Taiwan’s defense capability, and how confident are you that the United States will fulfill its promise to defend Taiwan?
Taiwan’s military capability ranks 26th in the world and focuses on defending military threats from China. Yao adds that Taiwan cannot and will not participate in any arms race with China, but we will invest in developing our military capabilities wisely to ensure that we have a strong deterrence capability.
We also believe that our most important security partner, the United States, will fulfill its security commitments to Taiwan.
note: Norway does not recognize Taiwan as an independent country, so Ambassador Yao does not have diplomatic status in Norway, but the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs considers him the “Chief of the Taiwan Representative Office”.
This is the struggle over Taiwan:
- The conflict dates back to the Civil War in China. When the Communists were victorious in 1949, the Nationalists took a base in Taiwan.
- China still considers Taiwan a rebellious province and condemns any move toward independence.
- Taiwan is a democratic, self-governing country with a population of 24 million. The government wants there steps towards more formal independence.
- In 2016, Taiwan refused to accept China’s doctrine that Taiwan is part of “one China,” and Beijing cut off all official communications.
- China is boycotting all countries that recognize Taiwan as an independent country. Norway does not recognize Taiwan.
- The United States also does not recognize Taiwan as an independent country, but it does have a role as a protective power.
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