Taiwan will fight ''to the very last day'' if China attacks

Cornelia Mascio
Aprile 7, 2021

The government of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has claimed the vessels are part of China's maritime militia, sent to "swarm" Filipino boats and stake out a claim for China over the nearby Whitsun Reef in the Spratly Islands, while Chinese authorities have said the boats are sheltering from stormy weather and have no militiamen aboard.

To counter this combined Chinese movement, the Japanese government sent a destroyer JS Suzutski and a P-1 Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA), along with a P-3C anti-submarine warfare aircraft "to monitor and gather information on the Chinese vessels".

The two carrier strike groups are hundreds of miles apart, but the convergence of the two nations' naval forces highlights the growing tension in the region as the U.S. doubles down on its diplomatic and ideological offensive to portray China as a threat to the global order.

Then on Monday, China's Global Times reported that the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning had led a task force alongside the Type 055 cruiser Nanchang through the Miyako Strait and into the Philippine Sea before launching exercises east of Taiwan.

Speaking earlier in the day, Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said the United States was concerned about the risk of conflict.

"We are willing to defend ourselves, that's without any question", Wu told reporters. "And if we need to defend ourselves to the very last day we will defend ourselves to the very last day".

China's Taiwan Affairs Office and the U.S. State Department did not respond to requests for comment on Wu's remarks. The United States has expressed concern about China's movements, and said its commitment to Taiwan is "rock solid".

"In the future, the PLA Navy will continue to carry out such exercise and training activities on a regular basis as planned", said the spokesperson.

Ministry sources said the carrier group may remain at sea for some time to conduct a drill.

It's also important to note that Japan's Defense Ministry announced late Sunday that the Liaoning carrier and five other warships were spotted Saturday sailing south through worldwide waters in the narrow passageway that separates Okinawa's main island and Miyako Island.

Washington, Taiwan's most important worldwide backer and arms supplier, has been pushing Taipei to modernize its military so it can become a "porcupine", that is hard for China to attack.

Wu said Taiwan was determined to improve its military capabilities and spend more on defence.

"The defense of Taiwan is our responsibility. We will try every way we can to improve our defence capability".

Taiwan's Defence Ministry said it had a "full grasp" of the situation in the air and at sea surrounding Taiwan and that it was "appropriately handling" the matter.

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