Taiwan military says China preparing for possible attack

2015-10-27 12:30


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Taipei - China is actively building up its armed forces and they would be strong enough by 2020 to launch an invasion of Taiwan, a military report said on Tuesday.

Despite closer political ties China is "continuing to accumulate large-scale war capabilities, with the threat of a cross-strait military conflict continuing to exist", according to the island's 2015 National Defence Report.

The mainland's annual military spending has grown on average by double-digit rates over the past decade, second only to the United States, it said.

The biennial report published by the defence ministry said China was strengthening its naval and air forces in the region to deter foreign forces from intervening in any invasion.

"China believes foreign interference would be its biggest concern if it attacks Taiwan," it said.

China and Taiwan split at the end of a civil war in 1949.

Relations have warmed since current Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou of the China-friendly Kuomintang party came to power in 2008.

But China still sees Taiwan as a breakaway territory and refuses to renounce the use of force should it declare formal independence.

The defence ministry said there was a risk of Taiwan letting its guard down because of increased economic and cultural exchanges in recent years.

"Overall [China] is diversifying its Taiwan strategy, forging positive developments in the cross-strait situation, giving them an advantage for any future attacks on Taiwan," its report said.

Taiwan will elect a new president in January, with the candidate of the pro-independence opposition Democratic Progressive Party, Tsai Ing-wen, tipped to win.

She has pledged to maintain the status quo if she wins but some analysts have questioned whether cross-strait peace could be maintained.

The defence ministry report also questioned China's reported military spending, which it said was significantly understated.

The actual budget is estimated to be two to three times the reported figure, putting it on par with the US and Russia, it said.

The US is Taiwan's main ally and sells weapons to the island, a source of discontent for China.

Read more on:    us

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.