Taiwan’s top military official said on Thursday that Taipei would not start a kinetic war with China as tensions in the region escalate after Beijing recently launched a record number of military jets to the island.
Chiu Kuo-cheng said Taiwan “will absolutely not start a war,” according to Reuters.
China’s recent aggression near the island has made some international observers question whether Beijing is considering an invasion. Few people think war is imminent, but the scale of these Chinese exits makes many fear that there is a miscalculation that could turn into a larger conflict and possibly include the United States, Japan. , the United Kingdom and Australia.
China claims Taiwan as its own, and control of the island is a key part of Beijing’s political and military thought. Leader Xi Jinping again stressed this weekend that “the reunification of the nation must be achieved and will certainly be achieved” – a goal made more realistic by the massive improvements made to the Chinese armed forces over the past two decades.
Taiwan recently announced new investments in its military. President Tsai Ing-wen said the money was meant to “show our determination to stand up for ourselves.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin told CNBC at an energy conference on Wednesday that China does not need to use its military to achieve its goal on Taiwan.
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“China is a powerful and huge economy, and in terms of purchasing parity, China is currently the number one economy in the world ahead of the United States,” Putin said, according to the network. “By increasing this economic potential, China is able to implement its national goals. I see no threat.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report