Taiwan pledges to ‘counter-attack’ if Chinese troops enter its territory – Times of India


TAIPEI: Taiwan said on Wednesday it would exercise its right to self-defense and “counter-attack” if Chinese forces entered its territory, as Beijing ramped up military activities near the democratic island.
Beijing, which claims Taiwan as its property over strong opposition from the Taipei government, held military exercises around the island this month in response to a visit to Taipei by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Taiwanese defense officials said China’s “high-intensity” military patrols near Taiwan continued and Beijing planned to Taiwan Strait separating the two sides of the “inland sea” would become the main source of instability in the region.
“For aircraft and ships that have entered our 12 nautical mile sea and air area, the National Army will exercise the right of self-defense and counter-attack without exception,” said Lin Wen-Huang, deputy chief of general staff for operations and planning. reporters during a press conference.
Taiwan has complained about Chinese drones repeatedly flying close to its small archipelagos off the Chinese coast.
The military will exercise the same right to “counter-attack” Chinese drones that have not heeded warnings to leave their territory after threats, Lin added.
Taiwan fired warning shots at a Chinese drone for the first time on Tuesday, shortly after President Tsai Ing-wen ordered the Taiwan military to take “strong countermeasures” against what she called Chinese provocations.
China’s foreign ministry this week dismissed complaints from Taiwan about drone harassment as “not worth worrying about,” prompting Taipei to label Beijing as nothing more than thieves.
In the same briefing, Ma Cheng-Kun, a director of the National Defense University military academy, said China might go further to deny passage of foreign naval vessels through the strait without its consent.
“After the new military normal status is consolidated, the risk of collision will increase as foreign naval vessels insist on the right to navigation and freedom,” he said.
US warships and those from allied countries such as Britain and Canada have routinely sailed through the strait in recent years, including two US Navy warships last week.
Taiwan’s armed forces are well equipped but dwarfed by China’s. Tsai oversees a modernization program and has prioritized increasing defense spending.
China does not rule out using force to bring the island under its control. Taipei rejects Beijing’s sovereignty claims, saying the People’s Republic of China has never ruled the island and that only the Taiwanese people can decide their future.

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