Taiwan vows to counterattack if China’s forces enter its territory - GulfToday

Taiwan vows to counterattack if China’s forces enter its territory


Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen speaks during a meeting. File photo

Taiwan said on Wednesday it would exercise its right to self defence and "counter-attack" if Chinese armed forces entered its territory, as Beijing increased military activities near the democratic island.

Beijing, which claims Taiwan as its own, has held military exercises around the island this month in reaction to a visit to Taipei by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.


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Taiwanese defence officials said China's "high intensity" military patrols near Taiwan continued and Beijing's intention of making the Taiwan Strait separating the two sides its "inner sea" would become the main source of instability in the region.

Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu welcomes Nancy Pelosi at the Taipei Songshan Airport in Taipei, Taiwan. Reuters
US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi (centre) during her Taiwan trip. File photo

"For aircraft and ships that entered our sea and air territory of 12 nautical miles, the national army will exercise right to self-defence and counter attack without exception," Lin Wen-Huang, deputy chief of the general staff for operations and planning, told reporters at a news briefing.

Taiwan this month proposed a double-digit rise in defence spending that includes funds for new fighter jets, weeks after the Chinese exercises that included firing missiles over its capital, Taipei.

Taiwan's armed forces are well-equipped but dwarfed by China's. President Tsai Ing-wen has been overseeing a modernisation programme and has made increasing defence spending a priority.

China has not ruled out using force to bring the island under its control. Taipei rejects Beijing's sovereignty claims, saying that the People's Republic of China has never ruled the island and that only Taiwan's people can decide their future.





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