Official: South Korea Expects US Intervention If China Attacks Taiwan

South Korea would expect the United States to intervene militarily if China were to attack Taiwan, a South Korean official told a group of reporters, Axios reported Monday.

The comment came during a briefing with a small group of reporters about the new South Korean administration’s foreign policy, according to Axios, which was part of the group. The official spoke on condition of anonymity.

Communist China has become increasingly aggressive in its threats against self-governing Taiwan, which mainland China claims is its territory.

Many observers believe China has been watching Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a test of the waters to see how the United States might respond to an invasion of Taiwan.

The South Korean official told reporters China does not pose a direct “threat” to South Korea, but does pose security “risks” and any incident in the Taiwan Strait could heighten the threat.

When asked by an Axios reporter whether Seoul would want the United States to respond to an invasion, the official said South Korea was “more comfortable” with the idea America would respond, admitting it would likely lead to a request for U.S. and Japanese military support.

The official would not tell reporters whether South Korea would be willing to send troops.

A big reason for South Korea’s concern about Taiwan is its own aggressive neighbor, North Korea.

“We probably take for granted that if China attacks Taiwan, the U.S. will engage,” the official said, noting if the United States stood aside over an attack on Taiwan, it likely would do the same if North Korea attacked South Korea.

But official U.S. policy has long been “One China” to appease the Communist Chinese leadership that refuses to deal diplomatically or otherwise with countries or entities that recognize Taiwan independence. The United States has no treaty with Taiwan to come to its defense.

Nevertheless, President Joe Biden has three times stated the United States would defend Taiwan, only to have the White House walk the statements back, saying U.S. policy has not changed.


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We Have a Nuke-Like Weapon


Originally published by Gatestone Institute

Commentary

On June 21, China’s People’s Daily reported that the United States and Taiwan were about to participate in the annual Monterey Talks. The U.S. side, China’s most authoritative publication stated, was expected to offer 20 types of weapons for sale to Taiwan, “with emphasis on building ‘asymmetric capability.’”

Taiwan, which the People’s Republic of China claims as its 34th province, already has asymmetric capabilities, and one of them could be as powerful as a nuclear weapon.

Beijing maintains that Taiwan cannot defend itself. “Military expert Song Zhongping said it is impossible for Taiwan to form ‘asymmetric capabilities,’ no matter what kind of weapons it purchases from the U.S. as the gap between the military capacities of the two sides is ‘too huge,’” People’s Daily, a Communist Party newspaper, reported.

Taiwan is “daydreaming” if it thinks it can contain the People’s Liberation Army, according to the newspaper. Why? “Asymmetric weapons are ‘useless’ when facing the PLA’s absolute advantages.”

The People’s Daily report followed an unusual exchange of words between a Taiwan legislator and a Chinese official. “Taiwan of course would never invade China,” said You Si-kun, the president of Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan, on June 12 at a virtual event. “Nor would Taiwan actively strike Beijing or the Three Gorges Dam.”

“Before China attacks Taiwan,” You warned, “it must consider Taiwan’s existing capacity to strike Beijing.” “China,” he said, “should think twice.”

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, through spokesperson Ma Xiaoguang, replied with a poetic image. “If they dare strike a stone with an egg, it will only accelerate their demise.”

At least one of Taiwan’s “eggs” can kill tens of millions of Chinese, perhaps more.

The range of Taiwan’s Yun Feng cruise missile has never been publicly confirmed, but analysts believe it to be about 1,240 miles, sufficient to reach both the Chinese capital and the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest flood-control structure.

China’s dam creates a reservoir of 39.3 billion cubic meters of water on the Yangtze River and is upstream from about 400 million people. Almost 30 percent of China’s population, therefore, is at risk of a catastrophic failure of the structure, such as one caused by a missile strike. That means Taiwan possesses a conventional weapon that packs the wallop of a nuclear one.

When it comes to deterrence, however, quantity counts. “China now has significant superiority over Taiwan in terms of total combat aircraft and warships,” Richard Fisher of the International Assessment and Strategy Center told Gatestone. “The People’s Liberation Army can call on thousands of civilian barges and about 4,000 Boeing and Airbus airliners to transport the bulk of its invasion and occupation force to Taiwan.”

Therefore, Taiwan, to deter China, needs thousands of missiles, perhaps tens of thousands of them. Taiwan’s Yun Feng production rate has never been publicly confirmed, but it is clear that the island republic does not now possess a sufficient number of them.

The United States should have been actively encouraging Taiwan to develop missiles two decades ago, but it did not. The Obama administration even “tried to actively discourage Taiwan from acquiring such missiles,” Fisher told John Batchelor’s “CBS Eye on the World” radio program on the 21st of this month.

Now, the United States needs to help Taiwan improve the speed and range of its missiles and, of course, increase the number of them.

Moreover, Taiwan needs to ensure that China cannot destroy its Yun Feng missiles in an initial attack. Some of Taiwan’s missiles are on vulnerable fixed launchers but most of them are on mobile ones, Fisher told Gatestone.

On June 21, China flew 29 planes, including six nuclear-capable H-6 bombers, through Taiwan’s air-defense identification zone, the ninth incursion this month. “The latest large-scale exercise by the #PLA shows authoritarian #China’s military threat is more serious than ever,” tweeted Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu from his ministry’s official account.

The Chinese planes followed a track through international airspace, but the June 21 flight is nonetheless considered hostile. These air-zone provocations have become continuous in recent months and follow a far more serious act. On Feb. 5, China flew one of its aircraft directly over one of Taiwan’s outlying islands, a blatant violation of sovereign airspace.

“The campaign of intimidation is only going to become larger and bolder,” Fisher told Gatestone, before the June 21 incursion.

Up to now, the United States has tried to manage the situation across the Taiwan Strait by not angering China. The American policy has in fact prevented an invasion, but it worked in a generally benign period and that benign period has clearly passed.

Now, China’s regime looks as if it wants to go to war. The harsh remarks of China’s Defense Minister, General Wei Fenghe, at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore this month, are a clear warning of hostile intent.

China has targets, and Taiwan has missiles. That translates into deterrence if Taiwan makes it clear that, in the defense of its sovereignty, it is prepared to take Chinese lives in the hundreds of millions.

Warnings of this kind kept the peace in Europe during the Cold War, despite the Soviet Union’s overwhelming conventional military advantage over Western European nations.

For decades, Taiwan politicians were reluctant to talk about their island’s ability to kill Chinese people in great numbers. Now, they obviously think they must speak out, and forcefully. Making threats of inflicting mass casualties is perhaps the last lever Taiwan has to keep the peace in East Asia.

Yes, we are that close to war.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

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Gordon G. Chang is a distinguished senior fellow at the Gatestone Institute, a member of its Advisory Board, and the author of “The Coming Collapse of China.”





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Taiwan: China Attacking Would Hurt Global Economy More Than Ukraine

Taiwan’s top trade negotiator warned that if China were to attack the island nation, the harm to the global economy — due to a semiconductor shortage — would be worse than that of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Reuters reported.

“The disruption to international supply chains; disruption on the international economic order; and the chance to grow would be much, much [more] significant than this one,” John Deng, Taipei’s top negotiator, said of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “There would be a worldwide shortage of supply.”

Deng noted that much of the world relies on semiconductors made in Taiwan to manufacture technologies such as electric vehicles and mobile phones.

Last year, Taiwan’s chip exports totaled $118 billion. Deng added that 40% of Taiwan’s chip exports go to China.

Last month, President Joe Biden fueled tensions between China and Taiwan after he said the United States would defend Taiwan if China invaded.

The Taiwan Relations Act of 1979 commits the U.S. to help Taiwan defend itself but does not commit the U.S. to direct engagement with China. The United States has maintained a stance of “strategic ambiguity” regarding the island’s independence.

Last month, Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas gave a statement calling for the U.S. to pivot its Taiwan policy to one of ”strategic clarity.”

After Biden commented, China declared that it would conduct military drills near Taiwan; a Chinese People’s Liberation Army spokesman later said it was a “solemn warning to the recent U.S.-Taiwan collusion activities.”

On Friday, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told his Chinese counterpart, Gen. Wei Fenghe, that Beijing must avoid “further destabilizing actions” toward Taiwan.


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Beijing Should Seize Taiwan and TSMC When Facing ‘Destructive’ US Sanctions: Chinese Economist


A senior Chinese economist at a U.S.-China forum proposed that Beijing take over Taiwan and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) if Washington sanctions Beijing as it has Moscow.

“If the United States and the West impose destructive sanctions on China as they treat Russia, we must recover Taiwan,” said China’s economist Chen Wenling on May 30 at a forum hosted by the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, according to state outlets. “Especially in the reconstruction of industry and supply chains, we must seize TSMC, a firm that inherently belongs to China.”

Chen is the chief economist at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, a state think tank overseen by China’s top economic planning agency National Development and Reform Commission. Her comments came as TSMC, a global leader in semiconductor production, becomes increasingly important amid the global chip crunch.

“They are speeding up the transfer to the United States to build six factories there,” she added. “We must not let all the goals of the transfer be achieved.”

The Chinese regime sees Taiwan as part of its territory and has threatened war to bring the island into its fold. The self-ruled island is a de-facto independent country, with its own democratically-elected government, military, constitution, diplomacy, and currency.

Meanwhile, Chen urged Beijing to openly support Moscow to the best of its ability, citing a recent joint air force drill between the two allies as an example.

“China and Russia may be united by matching the Belt and Road Initiative and the broad Eurasia alliance raised by Putin,” said the expert. “That will form a strategic depth belt for our country, an economic belt along the Silk Road, and an energy security belt, which will serve [China] as a major buffer for security concerns in the future.”

On Feb. 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which the Kremlin calls “a special military operation.” As of June 8, 4,266 civilians have been killed, including 67 children, and 5,178 injured in Ukraine, with over 6.5 million people fleeing to neighboring countries, according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Additionally, Chen said that China could hit its rival hard in a way most unfavorable to the opponent when the reform achievements it has made over the past 40 years are at risk.

Taiwan legislator Wang Ting-Yu dismissed her speech as “irresponsible and provocative” in an interview with Radio Free Asia.

“The idea of taking over Taiwan and TSMC by force highlights China’s ignorance, arrogance, and aggressiveness,” Wang said. “Further, it signals they [Chinese authorities] would risk being perceived to be an enemy to the world for [its] economic interests.”

Internet user Zhao Ming tweeted that Chen can hardly be called an economist, as he said she shows no common sense in her field. “Economics promotes the free movement of talent, capital, and technology while Chen Wenling’s mindset is heavily preoccupied with looting.”

The Epoch Times could not reach Chen Wenling for comment by press time.

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Frank Yue is a Canada-based journalist for The Epoch Times who covers China-related news. He also holds an M.A. in English language and literature from Tianjin Foreign Studies University, China.



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US-Taiwan Trade Talks Could Outpace Indo-Pacific Effort: USTR Official


WASHINGTON—New U.S. trade negotiations with Taiwan could move more quickly than broader talks with 12 Indo-Pacific countries given strong interest in Taipei and Washington in deepening economic ties, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Sarah Bianchi said on Thursday.

There are parallels between the newly launched Indo-Pacific Economic Framework talks and the Taiwan talks, Bianchi told Reuters in an interview, but the latter initiative is aimed at increasing links with Taiwan on specific economic issues.

“I think we are eager to get going with Taiwan and to scope out our negotiating mandate there and … a range of issues from small-medium enterprises to digital trade to labor and we look forward to getting going as quickly as possible,” Bianchi said.

Asked if the Taiwan initiative could bear fruit sooner than the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) talks, she said: “Potentially yes, it could.”

The self-ruled island was excluded from the 14-country IPEF initiative launched last week by President Joe Biden. However, USTR announced separate, bilateral trade talks with Taiwan on Wednesday.

IPEF, which seeks to return an economic pillar to U.S. engagement in the region, will include Japan, India, South Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam, Australia, and other countries in the region, but not China.

Bianchi said IPEF would also get started right away, with plans for discussions, including ministerial-level meetings in coming months to organize the topics for the talks and to begin proposing texts for an agreement by the end of the summer.

Choosing Pillars

The IPEF talks will allow member countries to choose among the key “pillars” in which they will participate, including digital trade rules, supply chain resiliency and trade facilitation, infrastructure development and strong labor rights and environmental standards.

But participation in all pillars is not required, and initial meetings will focus on defining which ones countries will choose, Bianchi said. Countries that choose only one or two can still have meaningful engagement with the United States and other IPEF members, she said.

Neither the IPEF nor the Taiwan talks will include the tariff reductions and enhanced market access offered by traditional free trade agreements.

Bianchi said IPEF is meant to be a “21st century agreement to really address 21st century problems,” including barriers to digital trade such as data localization requirements or onerous regulations that make it difficult for companies to operate in some countries. Fixing these problems will also enhance market access, she said.

By David Lawder

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US Adds Back ‘We Do Not Support Taiwan Independence’ to Fact Sheet

The U.S. Department of State quietly updated its fact sheet page about Taiwan on Saturday, adding back the statement “we do not support Taiwan independence” after initially removing it earlier this month, according to DW News reporter William Yang.

The department also added, “We oppose any unilateral changes to the status quo from either side” and “we expect cross-Strait differences to be resolved by peaceful means.”

“One spokesperson told Central News Agency that the move is to reflect the speech on Biden Administration’s #China’s strategy delivered by Secretary of State [Antony Blinken] last week,” Yang wrote on Twitter.

The speech delivered by Blinken on May 26 reportedly stressed that the U.S. opposes any change to the status quo, does not support Taiwan independence, and hopes to resolve cross-strait differences through peaceful means, per the CNA.

The latest edition of the page also maintains language surrounding aid and military support provided to Taiwan.

“Consistent with the Taiwan Relations Act, the United States makes available defense articles and services as necessary to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability,” both the May 5 and May 28 pages read.

However, the new fact sheet adds, “and maintains our capacity to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or the social or economic system, of Taiwan.”

The news comes amid increasing restlessness over China’s posture toward the island, which it has claimed but never controlled since winning the Chinese Civil War in 1949.

On Thursday, China demanded that the U.S. halt trade talks with Taiwan — accusing Washington of jeopardizing peace in the region, The Associated Press reported.

Trade dialogues between the two countries “disrupt peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” said Zhao Lijian, China’s foreign ministry spokesman.

He also called on the U.S. to “stop negotiating agreements with Taiwan that have sovereign connotations and official nature.”


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Biden and Fed Chair, Powell to Discuss Inflation; Border Patrol Chief Praises Agents Over Bust

President Joe Biden is meeting the Chief of the Federal Reserve today, to discuss inflation. Biden is also outlining his own plan to tackle rising prices.

Border Patrol agents were praised for their progress over a three-day period. Find out what they accomplished.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen says Washington is planning “cooperation” between the U.S. National Guard and Taiwan’s military. That’s in response to the growing threat from communist China.

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US Senator Visits Taiwan as China Ups Military Threat

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth on Tuesday reiterated America’s support for Taiwan on her second visit in a year to the self-governing island claimed by China.

Duckworth, meeting with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, emphasized the close economic, political and security relations between Taipei and Washington.

China sent 30 military aircraft toward the island on Monday in an ongoing campaign of regular flights. Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said it responded by scrambling jets, putting air defense missile systems on alert and issuing radio warnings.

Duckworth said she wanted to “emphasize our support for Taiwan security.” The former Army helicopter pilot and lieutenant colonel in the National Guard cited strong bipartisan backing for a bill she has put forward promoting cooperation between Taiwan’s armed forces and the National Guard.

“I do want to say that it is more than just about military. It’s also about the economy,” the Illinois Democrat told Tsai.

Tsai thanked the U.S. government and Congress “for the importance they place on peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” as well as Duckworth herself for “keeping a close watch on Taiwan related security issues.”

China said it strongly deplores Duckworth’s visit.

“Taiwan is a province of China, and there is no so-called president,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said. He urged the U.S. to end all official contacts with Taiwan.

“The U.S. government has recently sent a series of erroneous signals on the Taiwan issue,” he said. “What the U.S. government should do is to put into practice President Biden’s remarks that the U.S. does not seek a new Cold War with China, does not aim to change China’s system … and does not support Taiwan independence.”

U.S. President Joe Biden said on a recent trip to Japan and South Korea that the U.S. would intervene militarily if China were to invade Taiwan.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has put China’s threats against Taiwan under new focus, prompting increased backing for arms sales and political support from Democrats and Republicans.

China upped the ante further in May, reaching out to the Solomon Islands and nine other island nations with a sweeping security proposal that, even if only partially realized, could give it a presence in the Pacific much nearer Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand and on the doorstep of the strategic American territory of Guam.

That is seen as a potential route to blocking access to Taiwan by the U.S. and its allies in the event China makes good on its threat to invade the island.

In a speech Thursday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said President Joe Biden’s administration aims to lead the international bloc opposed to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine into a broader coalition to counter what it sees as a more serious, long-term threat to global order from China. He did say that the U.S. does not support Taiwan independence.

While relations with Taiwan are informal in deference to Beijing, the U.S. remains its main supplier of defensive arms and source of political support in international organizations where China blocks Taiwan’s participation.


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China Makes Second Largest Breach of Taiwan’s Air Defense Zone This Year as US Senator Visits


As a U.S. senator lead a delegation to visit Taiwan on May 30 to June 1, dozens of warplanes of the Chinese communist regime entered Taiwan’s air defense zone and were scrambled by Taiwan’s military jets.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense announced on May 30 that 30 PLA warplanes of the Chinese regime breached Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) from the southwest. It was the second largest incursion by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) this year, following 39 PLA jets entering Taiwan’s ADIZ on Jan. 23 this year.

This time, the incursion came as U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) led a delegation to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen, as well as President of the Executive Yuan Su Tseng-chang and Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua for an in-depth exchange on various important issues in Taiwan-U.S. relations, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China—Taiwan’s official name.

Duckworth is a member of the “Senate Taiwan Connection.”

The Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Duckworth has repeatedly promoted or co-signed Taiwan friendly bills in the U.S. Senate. For example, she introduced the “Strengthen Taiwan’s Security Act of 2022” on May 26 supporting Taiwan and the United States strengthening coordination in response to Taiwan’s security situation in light of the CCP’s provocations, while proposing specific measures to strengthen Taiwan’s defense capabilities.

Duckworth and 51 other senators sent a letter to U.S. President Joe Biden in mid-May, calling for Taiwan to be included in the “Indo-Pacific Economic Framework” (IPEF). She also co-sponsored the “Taiwan Partnership Act” with Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) to develop partnership between the National Guard and Taiwan as a means of maintaining a sufficient self-defense capability. The initiative has been included in the “2022 Fiscal Year National Defense Authorization Act” (NDAA 2022) through legislation.

In June, 2021, Duckworth visited Taiwan with Sens. Dan Sullivan (R-Ark.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.), and announced the donation of vaccines to Taiwan on behalf of the U.S. government.

Taiwan
U.S. Sevs. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), and Chris Coons (D-Del.) wave next to Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, and Brent Christensen, director of the American Institute in Taiwan, after their arrival via a U.S. Air Force freighter at Taipei Songshan Airport in Taipei, Taiwan, on June 6, 2021. (Central News Agency/Pool via Reuters)

China’s latest incursion of Taiwan’s ADIZ follows Biden’s statement on May 23 in which he said that the U.S. will intervene militarily to defend Taiwan if it was attacked by CCP forces.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February, the CCP has been closely observing the United States and European Union’s response, weighing pros and cons of its threats to reunify Taiwan by force.

Zhong Yuan contributed to the report.

Alex Wu

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Alex Wu is a U.S.-based writer for The Epoch Times focusing on Chinese society, Chinese culture, human rights, and international relations.



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China: Military Drills Near Taiwan After Biden’s Remarks Represent ‘Solemn Warning’

China confirmed that it conducted military drills near Taiwan during President Joe Biden’s recent visit to Asia, in response to Biden’s public comment about the United States defending Taiwan militarily, if Beijing invaded the area.

Col. Shi Yi, a spokesperson for the Eastern Theatre Command of the People’s Liberation Army, said the drills represented a “solemn warning to the recent U.S.-Taiwan collusion activities.”

The statement didn’t specify where the Chinese military drills were held. However, the Eastern Theatre Command acknowledged the exercises performed were “multi-service joint combat readiness patrols” and “actual combat drills” in the sea and airspace around Taiwan.

On Tuesday, it was reported that China and Russia flew nuclear-capable bombers in a joint military exercise, coinciding with President Biden’s Asia trip.  

For that Quad summit in Tokyo, featuring leaders from Australia, India, Japan, and the U.S., Russian and Chinese warplanes apparently conducted a joint patrol that lasted 13 hours in the region in what Japanese Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi characterized as a likely “provocation” by Moscow and Beijing.

“We believe the fact that this action was taken during the Quad summit makes it more provocative than in the past,” Kishi said of the Chinese and Russian exercises.

The patrols were the first joint exercise since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine launched on Feb. 24.  But it’s still part of an annual military exercise, according to the China defense ministry website.

The two countries have previously conducted patrol exercises since 2019, but only during the latter half of a given year.

In a joint statement, the leaders of the Quad summit said they “discussed their respective responses to the conflict in Ukraine and the ongoing tragic humanitarian crisis.”

Biden’s frank response about the U.S. intervening in the event of a China invasion of Taiwan were quickly clarified by White House officials, who rationalized that it’s the same stance of previous presidential administrations.

Either way, the initial comment apparently incensed Chinese officials enough to ratchet up their provocations of Taiwan.

Under the “One China” policy, the U.S. recognizes Beijing as the representative government of China, but only acknowledges China’s claims to Taiwan. 

At the same time, the Pentagon remains committed to ensuring that Taipei can defend itself under federal law.

In Wednesday’s statement, Shi reiterated Beijing’s position that Taiwan is part of China and said it was “hypocritical and futile” for U.S. officials to say one thing while encouraging the “Taiwan independence forces.”

Shi also said the Eastern Theatre Command’s troops are “determined and capable” of stopping any attempts of “Taiwan independence.”


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