Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said Sky News Wednesday that China is “more likely” to invade as Chinese dictator Xi Jinping’s domestic problems become more serious.
Wu suggested 2027 was the most likely year for the invasion to start.
Wu chose 2027 because it would be the year after Xi is expected to leave office, his unprecedented third term having finally expired. Wu believes Xi will still cling to power with an aggressive grip:
In 2027, Xi Jinping is likely to enter his fourth term, and if he can’t claim any achievements in his previous three terms in office, he may need to think of something else to claim as his success or legacy.
If you look at the situation in China right now, the economy is going down. People are not happy, real estate seems to be melting.
If Xi Jinping cannot change the domestic situation in China, he may want to resort to using force or creating a crisis outside to divert domestic attention or show the Chinese that he has accomplished something. We are concerned that Taiwan may become a scapegoat for him.
Wu didn’t expect the years 2023 to 2027 to be without risk or accident. He noted that China constant provocations in the Taiwan Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) carries an increasing risk of forcing Taiwanese pilots to respond, which may be what China wants as it seeks a pretext for all-out war.
“Look at the proximity of the Chinese plane to our plane. If they cross the 24 nautical mile zone, some of our weapon systems may have to target those Chinese aircraft and that could result in an accident, although it may not be intentional for Chinese pilots to cross the 24 nautical mile,” he explained. .
“Very often, you see the sum of a small accident that could spark a big war,” he warned, crediting the discipline of Taiwanese pilots for avoiding such an accident to date.
On Monday, a Chinese pilot gave an interview to state media in which he claimed actually flew over Taiwan undetected aboard a J-20 stealth fighter, penetrating not only ADIZ but also Taiwan’s protected airspace.
“I told myself at the time, I will fly over in the future! There is no Taiwan Strait. This line or that line! exclaimed Captain Yang Jucheng, referring to the unofficial but long-recognized buffer zone that runs through the center of the Taiwan Strait.
Asked about criticisms that Taiwan spends too little on defense and is unprepared for a full-blown Chinese invasion, Wu said his government admits it may not have “acquired enough ammunition” or “enough training for our military personnel.” until now, but President Tsai Ing-wen is addressing these shortcomings through measures such as a increase in the defense budget And longer terms of compulsory military service. Conscription for men will be extended from four months to a full year starting in 2024.
The Taiwanese military on Wednesday announced it expects women to join its reserves as volunteers for the first time, starting with a group of 220 ex-soldiers. Taiwan has so far limited reserves to male volunteers because it lacked the resources to accommodate women. Women are not enlisted but can enlist in the regular army as volunteers and usually perform support roles.
“We are trying everything we can to prepare Taiwan, to make Taiwan capable of defending itself,” Wu said.
Wu said Taiwan is ready to negotiate various issues with China, as long as Beijing does not impose “political preconditions”.
This was most likely a reference to China’s refusal to engage in serious negotiations while President Tsai is in office. The Beijing regime considers Tsai a “separatist” and has fought relentlessly diplomatic and economic warfare against Taiwan since it took office.
“Accepting these Chinese preconditions means we are submitting to China, and that is something people here in Taiwan would never accept, but our door is open,” Wu said.
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