Asia/Pacific

Taiwan defense chief: Tensions with China worst in 40 years

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Taiwanese Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said on Wednesday that tensions with China are the worst they have been in 40 years.

Chiu gave the dire assessment to lawmakers while promoting a new $8.6 billion military spending package, according to Reuters. He told lawmakers that the current situation with China was “the most serious” he has seen in his more than 40-year military career, warning of the risk of “misfire” in the Taiwan Strait.

“For me as a military man, the urgency is right in front of me,” Chiu said.

China has ramped up its military provocations against Taiwan this year and recently flew more than 50 military aircrafts into the democratically governed island’s airspace.

Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said this week that the Taiwanese government is preparing for a potential war with China.

“The defense of Taiwan is in our own hands, and we are absolutely committed to that,” Wu said while appearing on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s “China Tonight.”

“I’m sure that if China is going to launch an attack against Taiwan, I think they are going to suffer tremendously as well,” Wu added.

Chiu compounded these concerns on Wednesday. As Reuters reported, the defense minister warned that China already has the capability to invade Taiwan and could mount a “full-scale” invasion by 2025.

“By 2025, China will bring the cost and attrition to its lowest. It has the capacity now, but it will not start a war easily, having to take many other things into consideration,” Chiu said.

President Biden on Tuesday said he had spoken with Chinese President Xi Jinping and that they had agreed to abide by status quo on Taiwan.

Tags China Chiu Kuo-cheng Cross-Strait relations Joe Biden Politics of Taiwan Taiwan
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