English News

  • youtube
  • facebook
  • twitter

Defiant Taiwan begins live-fire drills to deter Chinese assault

The Taiwanese military is practicing live-fire drills (Photo: Taiwan News/Military News Agency)

In response to China's military provocations of live-fire military drills, sending fighters and surrounding it with warships, Taiwan began a live-fire military drills simulating a defence of the island, to blunt the message from the Chinese PLA about its ability and intent to capture the island.

The AFP reported on Tuesday that Taiwan's armed forces will practice the defence of the island on Tuesday and Thursday. It said that Taiwan will use hundreds of troops and 40 howitzers.

Taiwan has taken a defiant stand over Beijing's military provocations in the face of US Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit. Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said on Monday: "Whether Speaker Pelosi visits Taiwan or not, the Chinese military threat against Taiwan has always been there and that is the fact that we need to deal with". He added: "China has always been threatening Taiwan for years and it's getting more serious in the last few years".

India Narrative spoke with Namrata Hasija, Research Associate at the Centre for China Analysis and Strategy (CCAS).

Hasija said: "China can go for an all-out integrated attack but this does not seem a viable option for China in the immediate future. The risk here is not Taiwanese resistance, but a war between the great powers due to the possibility of US and Japanese intervention".

She says that China is likely to take the blockade route, using a long strangulation, crippling Taiwanese economy and creating hardships for its people, which could lead to an actual war. "The other route that China will take is to unleash a limited military offensive and capture the outlying islands of Kinmen, Matsu and Taiping which are close to China and much further from Taiwan".

In both these plans, Taiwan will be forced to intervene with force. It has already alerted its forces on the islands, which are so close to the Chinese province of Fujian that residents can see each other from their respective shores.

So, what are the options before Taiwan? Hasija says: "It seems Taiwan may have to accede to some of the Chinese demands to limit damage and the possibility of a full-scale war. Still, the big question is whether President Xi Jinping has the political will to launch a full scale attack on Taiwan. Domestic politics and the situation is not very favourable for Xi. He is facing criticism for mishandling Covid-19 and faces a depleting economy. Some of the party reorganisation measures have not been liked by party members".

Hasija says that China will keep the pressure on Taiwan but one has to read the signals he sends before and after the 20th congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) which takes place in October 2022.

Till then hundreds of Chinese air force planes, a couple of aircraft carriers and other battleships will keep the heat on Taipei–just because a US official visited the island nation in defiance of China. 

Read More: Why has China decided to extend its military exercises around Taiwan?

US Patriot missile sales to Taiwan invites sharp retort from unhappy Beijing