Taiwan stages live-fire military exercises after China threats

Posted January 18, 2019

"Despite Trump tweeting, "... the United States Treasury has taken in MANY billions of dollars from the Tariffs we are charging China and other countries that have not treated us fairly", the head of the conservative and business-friendly U.S. Chamber of Commerce begged to differ.

The drills also follow a new Pentagon report laying out USA concerns about Beijing's growing military might, underscoring worries about a possible attack against Taiwan.

The report adds China has probably used unfair means to acquire cutting edge military technology.

The Chinese military, known as the People's Liberation Army (PLA), "is likely to grow even more technologically advanced, with equipment comparable to that of other modern militaries", the report stated.

"Rather, China has routinely adopted the best and most effective platforms found in foreign militaries through direct purchase, retrofits, or theft of intellectual property".

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The People's Liberation Army's efforts to obtain access to commercial ports in Africa, the Middle-East and South Asia would align with its future overseas logistic needs and meet its evolving naval requirements, said the Congressionally-mandated report on the increasing Chinese military power which was released by the US Department of Defence on Tuesday.

China's most terrifying weapons are the most advanced in their field in the world.

"The biggest concern is that they are going to get to - they are getting to a point where the PLA leadership may actually tell Xi Jinping that they are confident in their capabilities", the official said, referring to China's leader. "In some areas, it already leads the world", the report said.

"These countries continue to develop, test and proliferate sophisticated anti-satellite weapons to hold United States and allied space assets at risk", the Air Force report says.

These include submarines, anti-ship and anti-air missiles.

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Taiwan will not bow to Chinese pressure and called for global support against Beijing's "out-of-control actions", a presidential spokesman said on Thursday, after Beijing urged companies to change the way they refer to the self-ruled island.

The report concludes: "China's leaders hope that possessing these military capabilities will deter pro-independence moves by Taiwan or, should deterrence fail, will permit a range of tailored military options against Taiwan and potential third-party military intervention".

Top American defense officials have long viewed China's military as a rising power that eventually seeks parity with the USA military force, leading the Pentagon to list it - alongside Russian Federation - as the top potential security threat in its latest National Defense Strategy released previous year.

China's efforts to enhance its presence overseas, such as establishing its first foreign military base in Djibouti and boosting economic connectivity by reinvigorating the New Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Road under the "Belt and Road Initiative" (BRI), could enable the PLA to project power at even greater distances from the Chinese mainland, it said. "I think that they are fairly comfortable with the progress they've made in building out this infrastructure down there, and then working on negotiations with the other claimant states over a longer term", the senior defense official said.

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