According to reports, China has been sending military aircraft into the air defence identification zone of Taiwan on almost a daily basis. On the other hand, as ground reports from Taiwan reveal, the Russian assault on Ukraine is serving a wake-up call for Taiwan, reported The HK Post.
A report in the Financial Times says Taiwanese people are taking more interest in the effectiveness of Javelin anti-tank missiles and Stinger man-portable missiles, which the people are using effectively to stall the advance of the Russian forces. There is also a debate in Taiwan over reinstating conscription and reorganizing the large but poorly trained reserve force of Taiwan.
The German broadcasting agency DW has said in a report that Taiwan is holding several military exercises. Drawing the instance of Ukraine, President of Taiwan Tsai Ing-wen has emphasized that the protection of Taiwan, in addition to international solidarity and assistance, would depend on the unity of the people, reported The HK Post.
Taiwan is taking steps to test the combat readiness of troops. Military reservists have been put through a new and more intensive training programme. They are going through live-fire drills to ensure that reservists have basic combat skills. Some 15,000 reservists involving 24 battalions have been involved.
The air force and the navy of Taiwan have carried out a series of military exercises, testing the air defence capabilities of Taipei in the Taiwan Strait.
The Taiwanese army is also slated to carry out live-fire drills in the offshore islands. US Defence officials have urged Taiwan to build asymmetric capabilities, expand in areas such as cyberwar and use means to project a smaller force against a larger and better-equipped enemy.
Taiwan has been advised to draw a lesson from Ukraine on how a small force could thwart the attack of a much stronger enemy. Asymmetric defence, for Taiwan, could mean acquiring large numbers of small and inexpensive capabilities that could make it more difficult for an invader to land on a beach and make headway inland. This could mean the use of weapons like coastal defence cruise missiles, short-range, mobile air defence systems, smart naval mines and drones, reported The HK Post.
China has also stepped up its violation of the territorial rights of the smaller littoral states in the South China Sea.
These attempts have varied from stepping up threats to Taiwan to adopting threatening postures against smaller littoral states in the South China Sea.
Beijing could have hoped now that the attention of the United States is focused on Europe because of the war in Ukraine, it could be the right opportunity for China to bully the smaller nations like the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei and establish its hegemony in the South China Sea; and also complete its unfulfilled agenda of annexing Taiwan.
However, Beijing’s hopes may still remain a mirage as these smaller nations are offering resistance to the Chinese threat. To the discomfiture of Beijing, Washington, too, continues to remain vigilant in the South China Sea region, reported The HK Post.