China on brink of war with Taiwan as Beijing contemplated attacking islands

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China is on the brink of war with Taiwan as Beijing contemplated attacking the latter's tiny Pratas Islands recently.

But the country has decided not to do so until at least 2024, according to leading Taiwan security advisor Chen Ming-tong.

China has yet to respond to the claims, but 2024 is when President Tsai Ing-wen’s term ends.

There is no real significance behind the decision to wait until 2024, other than China wanting to see whether they can work with the President's replacement on any future peace deal or not.

Mr Chen told of China's plans during a Taiwanese parliamentary meeting on Thursday.

The mainly-uninhabited Pratas Islands are found about 400km from mainland Taiwan .

Mr Chen said: “Capturing the Pratas Islands – this scenario where war is being used to force [Taiwan into] talks – our assessment is that this will not happen during President Tsai’s tenure.

“Frankly speaking, they have internally debated this before.

“We obviously have some understanding – in the next one, two, three years, within President Tsai’s tenure, it won’t happen.”

Adding the the increasing rhetoric between the two nations, Taiwan's Defence Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said: “For the military, the current situation is the grimmest in the more than 40 years since I joined the service.

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"[China] is capable [of war] now but it has to calculate what it would cost, and what kind of outcome it wishes to achieve.”

But it wasn't all bad news for Taiwan, as US chairman of joint chiefs of staff said that the country will defend Taiwan if it had to.

Earlier this week he said: “We absolutely have the capability to do all kinds of things around the world, to include that if required.

“We absolutely have the capability. There’s no question about that.”

“Having said that, though, the Chinese are clearly and unambiguously building the capability to provide those options to the national leadership if they so choose at some point in the future.

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“We are witnessing one of the largest shifts in global geostrategic power that the world has witnessed

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, who didn't take kindly to the American comments, said: “No one should underestimate China‘s firm determination and will to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity – we will never allow anyone or any force to separate Taiwan from the motherland in any way.

“The US should pursue a real One China policy, instead of a fake one, fulfil its commitments to China faithfully rather than treacherously, truly implement the One China policy and put it into action, instead of saying one thing and doing the opposite.”

  • Military
  • China

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