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Updated November 5th, 2021 at 09:57 IST

'China will not attack Taiwan during Tsai Ing-wen's term': Taiwanese official

Taiwan's National Security Bureau chief Chen Ming-tong has said that China will not try to attack the island nation's remote islands during Tsai Ing-wen's term.

Shloak Prabhu
Taiwan
Image: AP | Image:self
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Amid simmering tensions with China, Taiwan's National Security Bureau chief Chen Ming-tong has said that Beijing will not try to attack the island nation's remote islands during President Tsai Ing-wen's term. The country's intelligence chief made the remark on Thursday during a question-and-answer session at the Taiwanese legislature, according to NHK world. Chen has also ruled out the possibility of a China-Taiwan armed clash elsewhere during Tsai Ing-wen's term.

However, talking about the possibilities of a military conflict, Chen said that possible scenarios include China's occupations of remote island, blockade of the sea and a saturation attack that overwhelms Taiwan's defense capabilities. He was also asked about media reports which have stated that the Chinese military may be preparing an attack on the Pratas Islands. Taiwan has been effectively controlling some islands in the South China Sea. 

Citing intelligence activities, Chen remarked that his bureau has concluded that China is not planning an attack during the current presidency which is set to last until May 2024. Moreover, he also claimed that the issue about China attacking Taiwan has already been studied inside China, reported NHK World. Even so, he acknowledged that tensions across the Taiwan Strait have increased as compared to before. He stressed that any unplanned incidents must be prevented. 

US 'absolutely' could defend Taiwan from China: General Mark Milley

On Wednesday, 3 November, United States Joint Chief of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley remarked that Washington could 'absolutely' defend Taiwan from a potential Chinese attack if asked to do so. However, he too said that he does not expect China to attempt to seize Taiwan in the next 24 months. However, Milley added that if Beijing attacks the self-governing island, then the US forces “absolutely have the capability” to defend Taiwan, “no question about that”. He added that it is upto the White House to decide if the United States wants to intervene if China sought control of the island. 

Milley also said that China is “clearly and unambiguously building the capability to provide those options to the national leadership if they so choose at some point in the future.”

“Near future, probably not, but anything can happen," he added in an interview conducted by NBC News. 

China-Taiwan tussle 

China and Taiwan have been engaged in a tussle as Beijing claims full sovereignty over the island nation, a thriving democracy of almost 24 million people located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. Beijing continues to claim Taiwan even as the latter has been governed separately for more than seven decades.

On the other hand, Taipei has countered Chinese aggression by increasing strategic ties with democracies and rivals of China, mainly the United States. Beijing has repeatedly opposed US and Taiwan ties and has constantly threatened that "Taiwan's independence" means war. Moreover, the US has supported Taiwan by maintaining close ties and providing it with military assets. On the other hand, Taiwan also enjoys support from the United States. On 1 June, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged complete reunification with self-ruled Taiwan and vowed to smash any attempts at formal independence for the island. 

(With ANI inputs)

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Published November 5th, 2021 at 09:57 IST

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