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Taiwan’s president warns of “disastrous consequences” amid Chinese incursions

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China has described Taiwan becoming part of the mainland as “inevitable”. (file)

Taipei:

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen warned of “catastrophic consequences” if the island fell to China in an article published on Tuesday and vowed to do “whatever it takes” to guard against threats.

Taiwan remains under constant threat of invasion by China, which views the self-governing democratic island as its own territory, should one day be retaken by force if necessary.

President Xi Jinping has described the seizure of Taiwan as “inevitable” and Beijing has increased military, diplomatic and economic pressure since Tsai’s 2016 election, as it considers the island “already independent” and “one China”. Do not take part.

About 150 Chinese warplanes had breached Taiwan’s ADIZ since Friday, when Beijing marked its national day with its biggest ever aerial display, buzzing the island with 38 planes.

Tsai warned in an article for Foreign Affairs published Tuesday that the failure to defend Taiwan would be “catastrophic” for both the island and the wider region.

“They should remember that if Taiwan collapses, the consequences will be disastrous for regional peace and the democratic coalition system,” Tsai said.

“This would indicate that in today’s global competition for values, authoritarianism has the upper hand over democracy.”

Taiwan hopes for peaceful coexistence with China, she said, but “if its democracy and way of life are threatened, Taiwan will do whatever it takes to protect itself.”

Tsai’s government on Monday urged Beijing to stop “irresponsible provocative action” when a record 56 Chinese jets, including nuclear-capable bombers, crossed into Taiwan’s air defense detection zone.

“Amid almost daily incursions by the People’s Liberation Army, our position on cross-strait relations remains stable: Taiwan will not succumb to pressure,” Tsai said.

ADIZ is not the same as Taiwan’s territorial airspace, but covers a large area that overlaps with part of China’s own air defense identification zone and even includes some of the mainland.

Over the past two years, Beijing has begun sending large flights into Taiwan’s defense sector to signal discontent at critical moments – and to keep Taipei’s old fighter fleet under regular strain.

Last year, a record 380 Chinese military jets infiltrated Taiwan’s defense sector. By October this year, the number has already crossed 600.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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