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Don’t want arms race with China, but won’t succumb to pressure: Taiwan

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Democratic-ruled Taiwan says it is an independent country and will defend itself if attacked. (file)

Taipei:

Taiwan is not trying to engage in an arms race with China, but it needs to defend itself and will not succumb to pressure, its defense ministry said in a report to parliament on Wednesday.

Tensions between Taiwan and China, which claims the democratically governed island as their territory, have escalated over the past year as Beijing underscores its military and political pressure to force Taipei to accept Chinese sovereignty. has increased.

This includes repeated missions by Chinese warplanes in the Taiwan Air Defense Identification Zone, or ADIZ, which covers a wider area than Taiwan’s territorial airspace, over which Taiwan is more likely to respond to any threats. Monitors and patrols to give time.

China is in the midst of a military modernization program, building new aircraft carriers and stealth fighters, while Taiwan is also increasing military spending, especially on the development of new missiles and submarines.

In its report to parliament, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry described the situation in the Taiwan Strait that separates it from its vast neighbor as “serious and unstable” and labeled China’s military action “provocation”.

“Taiwan will not engage in an arms race with the Chinese Communist forces and will not seek military confrontation in the hope of peaceful coexistence in the straits,” it said.

“But in the face of the Chinese Communists’ threat to our national security, we will do our best to defend the sovereignty of our country and will never succumb to pressure.”

It was dubbed a “confrontation” between Taiwan and China, which would be “difficult to mitigate in the short term”.

The military will strive to improve its capabilities to monitor Chinese aircraft and ships so that it can respond first, and will also exchange intelligence with foreign countries to keep it fully informed of the regional security situation.

Speaking earlier on Wednesday in Beijing, a Chinese government spokesman reiterated his determination to prevent Taiwan’s formal independence and bring the island under Chinese rule, preferably peacefully.

But Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesman for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, said: “We promise not to abandon the use of force and reserve the option to take all necessary measures”.

Democratic-ruled Taiwan says it is an independent country and will defend itself if attacked.

The tension has raised international concern of a conflict that could pit the United States and its allies against China.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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