China’s increased threats against Taiwan must be met with decisive actions, a retired US Navy officer believes.
Beijing will “eventually use force” if President Xi Jinping realises that he can’t annex Taiwan peacefully, according to retired US Navy Rear Admiral Mark Montgomery.
But the Western world can take decisions aiming to deter a Chinese move on the Taiwanese territory Beijing claims as its own, Rear Adm Montgomery believes.
Particularly the US, which while backing the One-China policy maintains unofficial relations with Taiwan, should make three moves to avoid a new war in the far east.
Rear Adm. Montgomery, who is now a senior fellow at the think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies, wrote in a comment piece for Barron’s: “First, munitions. The No. 1 lesson learned in Ukraine has been the paucity of munitions, both on-hand and in factory production levels.
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“Ukraine has been caught in an artillery crisis due to NATO’s very short supply of standard 155mm shells. A similar issue exists for the numerous munitions that would be critical to defeating China in a massive air-sea battle. Let’s raise, and meet, a new and higher level of munition production.”
The US and its allies, the retired officer continued, also need to look credible if they pledge assistance to democracies threatened by Russia, North Korea or China, and let these powers know help will be provided if other nations come under attack.
Finally, Rear Adm. Montgomery urged the US, Europe and Japan to coordinate to “prevent technology transfer to China, and to block Chinese intellectual property theft”.
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US President Joe Biden said multiple times in 2021 and 2022 that US forces would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion – which prompted the White House to stress the country’s policy towards the territory had not changed.
But the majority of Taiwanese people signalled they would welcome a tighter military alliance with Washington in the face of increased threats from China.
A poll, commissioned by the Taiwan Independence Alliance and the Taiwan Security Association, showed that 41.8 percent of respondents strongly agreed with the prospect of a military alliance with the US and 17.5 percent moderately agreed with it.
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The survey, which was carried out between November 20 and 22 and gathered 1,084 valid samples, also found that 29.5 percent of those polled strongly wanted to see the Taiwanese Government working towards having official ties with the US, while 17.9 percent moderately agreed with this scenario.
This comes as China has been consistently carrying out military drills in the Taiwan Strait – and had its aircraft often crossing the median line, considered by the US and Taipei the de-facto border between Beijing and the threatened territory.
In the 24 hours before December 8 at 6am, local time, the Taiwanese Defence Ministry said to have spotted 26 Chinese military aircraft and 10 Chinese Navy ships. Of the aeroplanes, a total of 15 crossed the median line, Taiwan claimed. Some, the ministry added, even entered Taiwan’s Air Defence Identification Zone.
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