Taiwan Warns Of China Military’s Sudden Entry Close To Island

In light of escalating military tensions across the Taiwan Strait, Taiwan’s defense minister, Chiu Kuo-cheng, issued a warning on Monday that the island must be on high alert for a “sudden entry” by the Chinese military into areas near to its territory this year.

In recent years, China has increased its military operations in the vicinity of Taiwan, including practically daily air force intrusions within the island’s air defense identification zone.

Taiwan, which is 24 nautical miles from its coast, has not yet recorded any incidents with Chinese military entering its contiguous zone. But, last year a civilian drone that was flying near an islet off the Chinese coast violated its airspace and was shot down.

Chiu, in response to inquiries from MPs in parliament, stated that as Taiwan increases its military exchanges with the United States, Beijing may find justifications to penetrate areas near to the island’s territorial air and maritime space.

He warned that if Taiwan’s territorial space, which is defined by the island as being 12 nautical miles from its shore, is approached by the PLA, it could suddenly enter Taiwan’s contiguous zone.

Chiu stated, “I specifically make these comments this year, meaning they are making such preparations. Looking forward, they would use force if they really have to.”

Mao Ning, a spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry, responded by saying that Beijing “will take firm measures to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity” at a daily briefing.

In the event that Chinese armed forces invade Taiwan, the island nation has promised to use its right of self-defense and launch a counterattack.

In response to Nancy Pelosi, then-Speaker of the US House of Representatives, visiting the island last year, China conducted unprecedented military drills around Taiwan.

Chiu claimed that China was looking to cause difficulties under a certain pretense, adding that this may involve trips to the island by high-ranking representatives of other governments or Taiwan’s regular military exchanges with other nations.

When asked by a lawmaker if the US intended to station some of its military hardware in Taiwan, Chiu replied that such conversations were continuing but she would not go into further detail.

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