Taiwan says will fight to the end if China attacks

Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu speaks during a press briefing to foreign journalist in Taipei, Taiwan, 7 April 2021. [Ritchie B. Tongo/EPA/EFE]

Taiwan will fight to the end if China attacks, its foreign minister said on Wednesday (7 April), adding that the United States saw a danger that this could happen amid mounting Chinese military pressure, including aircraft carrier drills, near the island.

Chinese-claimed Taiwan has complained of repeated military activities by Beijing in recent months, with China’s air force making almost daily forays in Taiwan’s air defence identification zone. On Monday, China said an aircraft carrier group was exercising close to the island.

China says carrier group exercising near Taiwan, drills will become regular

A Chinese carrier group is exercising near Taiwan and such drills will become regular, China’s navy said late on Monday (5 April) in a further escalation of tensions near the island that Beijing claims as its sovereign territory.

“From my limited understanding of American decision makers watching developments in this region, they clearly see the danger of the possibility of China launching an attack against Taiwan,” Joseph Wu told reporters at his ministry.

“We are willing to defend ourselves without any questions and we will fight the war if we need to fight the war. And if we need to defend ourselves to the very last day we will defend ourselves to the very last day.”

Washington, Taiwan’s most important international backer and arms supplier, has been pushing Taipei to modernise its military so it can become a “porcupine”, that is hard for China to attack.

US pushes arms sales surge to 'Fortress Taiwan,' needling China

The United States plans to sell as many as seven major weapons systems, including mines, cruise missiles and drones to Taiwan, four people familiar with the discussions said, as the Trump administration ramps up pressure on China.

Wu said they were determined to improve their military capabilities and spend more on defence.

“The defence of Taiwan is our responsibility. We will try every way we can to improve our defence capability.”

Taiwan’s Defence Ministry said at a separate event they will run eight days of computer-aided war games this month of a Chinese attack on Taiwan, forming the first phase of Taiwan’s largest annual war games, the Han Kuang exercises.

A second phase, including live fire drills, will happen in July.

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