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Chinese air force approached too close to Taiwan

China has been building up its air power along Taiwan’s coast, steadily deploying new fighter jets and drones to expanded air bases, Taiwan’s Ministry of Defence said in its annual report on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

China, which considers democratically governed Taiwan its territory, has recently deployed active military activity near the island in response to what Beijing calls “collusion” between Taiwan and the U.S., and to prevent Taiwanese independence.

China conducted war games in the Taiwan area last August and April, and its troops conduct almost regular operations around the island. The Defence Ministry said China uses “realistic combat training and exercises to strengthen readiness for war against Taiwan.” It said:

“The Chinese communists have been completing the expansion of airfields along the coastline of its eastern and southern theatre commands, realigning new fighters and drones to be permanently stationed there.”

The Ministry added that China’s frequent drills in northern and southern Taiwan, as well as in the Pacific Ocean, are evidence of its desire to “intimidate” Taiwan from both east and west. China’s Defense Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Taiwan, whose armed forces are far inferior to China’s, has pursued an asymmetric defense strategy, improving its long-range assets, precision, unmanned technology, maneuverability and artificial intelligence.

The ministry said that if there were clear features of a Chinese invasion, they could “launch a preemptive strike against a mobilizing invasion force” using precision weapons.

China’s slowing economic growth could increase the risk of Beijing taking military action against Taiwan, the Republican who chairs the U.S. congressional committee on China said Monday, contrasting himself with Democratic President Joe Biden, who said that makes them less likely.

Asked about Biden’s comments, Huang Wen-chi, Taiwan’s assistant deputy chief of general staff for intelligence, said China’s defense spending continues to rise and Taiwan cannot let its guard down. He added:

“We so far can’t see any friendliness from the Chinese communist authorities towards us.”

Taiwan’s government claims only Taiwan’s people can decide their own future.

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