Taiwan braces for ‘total blockade’ – media
Defense officials are said to have designed their new budget to prepare for a possible siege by China
Taiwanese military leaders have reportedly warned that Chinese forces are preparing for a “total blockage” of the Taiwan Strait to prevent foreign troops from accessing the self-governing island in the event of war.
Defense spending this year should focus on the blockade threat, allocating funds to stockpile spare parts for F-16 fighter jets and other weapons, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said in a report on Monday. seeking approval of the parliamentary budget. Since last year, the ministry has been reviewing its strategic fuel reserves and ability to repair equipment, said Reuters, which obtained a copy of the report.
The Taiwanese army will also have to replenish its stocks of artillery shells and rockets “to reinforce the continuity of the fighting”, said the ministry. Chinese military conducts joint operations “For the purpose of controlling strategic choke points and denying access to foreign forces.”
“Recently, the communist army’s drill and training model has been adjusted from a single military type to joint operations of land, sea, air and rocket forces,” adds the report.
Tensions around the breakaway republic, which China considers part of its territory, have escalated since US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taipei last August. Beijing, which had warned that such a visit would encourage Taiwanese separatists and undermine its sovereignty, responded by stepping up military exercises around Taiwan and cutting defense and climate ties with Washington.
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said its budget for this year should prioritize funding for US-made weapons, including Stinger anti-aircraft missiles and the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS). .
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday called for making the Chinese military a “great wall of steel” to protect Beijing’s interests and ensure greater stability and security. He refused to rule out reunification with Taiwan by force, if necessary.
China’s defense spending will hit $230 billion this year, up 7.2% from the 2022 budget. Then-Chinese Premier Li Keqiang pledged earlier this month to “take resolute action to oppose Taiwan independence.”
A US-China war over Taiwan would result in devastating casualties for both sides, according to a recent study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a Washington think tank. A Chinese invasion of Taiwan would ultimately fail, CSIS said, but US and Japanese forces would lose dozens of warships, hundreds of aircraft and thousands of troops. Taiwan would be left in ruins, “without electricity or basic services.”
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