China could carry out a “sudden entry” into the country of Taiwan, Taipei’s defense minister has said. This warning comes as tensions continue to elevate between China and the United States over the “sovereignty” of Taiwan.
Taiwan should be on the lookout for the Chinese military’s possible actions in areas adjacent to the self-governing island during 2023, its Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng told other members of the ruling class on Monday. During a Q&A session in parliament, Chiu claimed that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) may find a “certain pretext” this year to make a “sudden entry” into a zone contiguous to Taiwan and get close to what it considers its territorial waters, according to a report by RT.
The official alleged that Beijing is “making such preparations,” for its “sudden entry” and that China “would use force if they really have to.” According to the minister, an average of ten Chinese military aircraft and vessels make forays into areas near Taiwan on an almost-daily basis, with some of them crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait, considered to be an unofficial buffer between Beijing and Taipei.
Chiu noted that Taiwan has made preparations to “fire the first shot” should PLA entities, including drones or balloons, enter its territorial space.
When a reporter asked Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning to comment on the remarks, she reportedly replied by saying that the island is “part of China and has no defense minister.” The diplomat also stressed that Beijing “will take firm measures to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
These comments came just days after the United States State Department gave the green light to the sale of $619 million worth of weapons and ammunition to Taipei. The package includes F-16 fighter jets as well as various types of missiles.
The rhetoric over Taiwan between the U.S. and China is going to all new levels, as the war in Ukraine rages on.