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“Capture” Taiwan. The intensification of the conflict between the US and China

Washington is going to sell new weapons to Taipei for several billions of dollars to level forces with China, the media reported.

Relations between China and the United States deteriorated again after the first visit of a senior State Department official to Taipei since 1979. Against the backdrop of the visit, Washington promised to sell a large new shipment of weapons to Taiwan for seven billion dollars.

Beijing's response was military exercises in the Strait of Taiwan. China urged “not to play with fire”. Last summer, China has already conducted several major exercises in the disputed territories and launched missiles towards the U.S. ships.

“Whoever plays with fire, he himself can burn

In August, U.S. Health Secretary Alex Azar visited Taipei. At that time, Washington said the purpose of the visit was to study Taiwan's success in the fight against coronavirus pandemics. Beijing called the visit a “threat to peace and stability”.

The United States soon said it would form a new bilateral economic dialogue with Taiwan.

“We will continue to help Taipei confront the Communist Party of China's campaign of pressure, intimidation, and marginalization against Taiwan,” said U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia David Stilwell.

He noted, however, that the new dialogue is not a departure from Washington's recognition of the existence of “one China,” but only part of a “significant adjustment” in relations with Beijing and Taipei.

Recall that China has a policy of “one China” in relation to Taiwan and Tibet, implying the existence of only one single state, which calls itself China.

At the end of last week, Taipei with a three-day visit to the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Kate Krach. This is the most senior State Department representative who visited the island after China's recognition of America. He will meet with Taiwanese President Cai Inven.

The Chinese official press then wrote that such steps increase the risk of military conflict.

Taiwan, on the other hand, states that the danger of aggression comes from China, “which is ready to use force to join the republic that chose democracy. Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu called on the international community to create a coalition to protect his country from attack.

As the official representative of the Chinese Ministry of Defense Zhen Guoqiang said, the Chinese army “has enough strength, means, and determination to defend the sovereignty of the country. He also warned: “Those who play with fire can get to the point where they burn themselves.

Against the backdrop of Krach's visit, China has begun a drill near the Taiwan Strait, which, as the Chinese official publication of the Global Times, should not be seen as a warning, but as a rehearsal for the capture of Taiwan.

During the exercise, Chinese planes were approaching Taiwan from different sides: southwest, west, northwest, and north of the island. Taiwan Defense Minister Chang Guanquan said that Beijing used 18 combat aircraft J-10, J-11, and J-16, some of which crossed the middle line of the Taiwan Strait.

The median line of the Strait of Taiwan — informal, but respected by the party's border areas that control Taiwan and China. Since 1999, it has been violated only three times.

The Taiwan Ministry of Defense reported that September 18 and 19, 37 Chinese aircraft crossed the median line and entered the identification zone of the Taiwan Air Defense, among them were H-6, K-10, and J-11 bombers, J-16 fighters, and anti-submarine aircraft Y-8.

Meanwhile, the British newspaper Guardian writes that Washington plans to sell seven weapons systems to Taiwan, including mines, cruise missiles, drones.

This is a steep departure from the practice of past years when the U.S. arms shipments were carried out with great interruptions to minimize tension with Beijing.

Taiwan has a fairly strong army, mainly equipped with American military equipment. But China has a huge advantage in the number of troops, and it also has modern weapons at its disposal.

According to an unnamed official to Reuters, the sale of weapons to Taiwan for seven billion dollars is designed to restore the balance.

Such a move is probably related to the campaign of U.S. President Donald Trump, who accuses his rival Joe Biden of being too soft on China.

“China will be the masters of our country if Biden wins the election,” Trump said in his first speech as a presidential candidate in late August.

History of the issue

The Republic of China, which is often called Taiwan by the name of the island in the world, is recognized by 17 countries.

Before the defeat of the communist regime, Mao Tse Tung in the civil war controlled the entire territory of China. Since 1949, controls only Taiwan and several small islands.

Taiwan has its own constitution, an army of about 300 thousand soldiers. Unlike authoritarian communist China, Taiwan is a capitalist democracy.

China considers Taiwan an integral part of its territory and declares its desire for “peaceful reunification”. Independence of Taiwan from China is supported by the United States and other Western countries.

However, the threat of Chinese invasion prevents Taiwan from officially declaring its independence. In 2005, China passed a law on the possibility of using military force against the island, if it declares independence.

America demonstrated its support for Taiwan in 1996 when China conducted provocative missile tests to try to influence the first direct presidential elections in a partially recognized state.

In response, U.S. President Bill Clinton ordered the largest U.S. military exercises in Asia since the Vietnam War, sending ships to Taiwan Strait, thus giving a clear signal to Beijing.

As observers note, recently Washington on the background of aggravation of relations with Beijing because of the situation in Hong Kong has intensified contacts with Taipei, which causes protests of the Chinese authorities.

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