Taiwan says it won't bow to pressure amid China tension
Taiwan says it won't bow to pressure amid China tension
Report: China has some of world's most advanced weapons, remains 'long way' from US military
17 January, 2019, 23:24
Chinese nationalists fled to Taiwan at the end of the civil war in 1949 when the Communists took control of mainland China, but as the island has transformed into one of the region's most vibrant democracies it has become increasingly assertive of its own identity.
China is expanding its access to strategic foreign ports like Pakistan's Gwadar and Sri Lanka's Hambantota to pre-position the logistic framework necessary to support the growing presence of its military in the Indian Ocean and beyond, the Pentagon has said.
Some of China's other longstanding concerns, including Uighur and Tibetan separatism and control over disputed maritime areas, are listed alongside Taiwan as primary factors fuelling the country's ongoing military reforms.
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"As it continues to grow in strength and confidence, our nation's leaders will face a China insistent on having a greater voice in global interactions, which at times may be antithetical to U.S. interests".
It also mentions how China has "closed numerous gaps in key warfare areas" in recent years, through building or acquiring advanced platforms such as submarines, missile patrol crafts and land-based systems that carry antiship cruise missiles, in order to deter Taiwanese independence or provide "a range of tailored military options against Taiwan and potential third-party military intervention" if an attack were deemed necessary.
Those operations are seen as provocative by China. China continues to place economic, military and diplomatic pressure on Taiwan's government as it demands it recognise itself as a territory belonging to China and not an independent state.
According to defense officials, "space operations probably will form an integral component of other PLA campaigns and serve a key role in enabling actions to counter third-party intervention during military conflicts" in the Asia-Pacific region. The U.S. security umbrella has long restrained the mainland in its pressure campaign against Taipei.
"The biggest concern is that ... they are getting to a point where the PLA leadership may actually tell Xi Jinping that they are confident in their capabilities", the official said, referring to China's president.
For now, however, after that initial missile strike, it is highly unlikely that Chinese forces could mount the necessary ground invasion to overtake the island, the USA official said.
On the technology front, DIA is concerned about advances the Chinese have made in modern weaponry including the unmatched anti-satellite capabilities that it has demonstrated recently and the development of directed-energy weapons and hypersonic weapons, which can travel at least five times the speed of sound.
The United States broke ties with Taiwan four decades ago and re-established relations with China. India has indeed stitched up military logistics pacts to allow its warships access to U.S. bases in Djibouti, Diego Garcia, Guam and Subic Bay as well as French ones in the Reunion Islands (near Madagascar) and Djibouti, but they are not fully operational as of now.
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