China and Taiwan tensions could get ‘ugly’ says expert
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In response to the almost daily breaches to the nation’s air defence identification zone (ADIZ), Taiwan’s top defence official has urged for immediate reinforcements to defences. DW News reported how Taiwan is “ill-prepared” for a conflict with China. Micheal Tsai, Taiwan’s Defence Minister, said: “We are facing a gigantic military threat.
“Taiwan should strengthen its self-defense capabilities.”
China who has claimed Taiwan as its own territory has made clear the importance of the territory in China’s plans for the future.
Beijing’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi has previously said there was “no room for compromise of concessions,” on the issue and warned the US, who have recently been making diplomatic strides with the democratically ruled nation, to stop “playing with fire.”
As it stands, Taiwan has an army around 170,000 strong in an army comparable to that of Germany, although there are fears this will not be enough as China’s official military budget is 16 times that of Taiwan.
Taiwan ‘ill-prepared’ for war with China (Image: Getty Images)
Taiwan’s army is around 170,000 strong (Image: Getty Images)
Also in terms of equipment, China is surging ahead on the construction of a third aircraft carrier, while Taiwan is struggling with its two operational submarines that date back to the 1980s.
Mr Tsai added: “Our national security needs every young man to go to the armed forces, this is a national obligation.”
In 2016, compulsory military service for young taiwanese men was shortened to just four months, which is not enough according to Mr Tsai.
Speaking to Deutshe Welle, Mr Tsai said Taiwan should learn from the example of South Korea, SIngapore and Israel where military service is compulsory for more than a year.
READ MORE: China bolsters military patrols as threat of Taiwan invasion looms
Taiwan’s military service is only 4 months (Image: Getty Images )
South China Sea spheres of influence (Image: Express)
According to the recent report by Deutshe Welle, Taiwan is “ill-prepared” for a potential Chinese attack.
Despite the regular arms shipments worth billions of dollars from the US, many of Taiwan’s reserve troops that tally over 700,000, lack basic training.
According to reports, reserve troops are called upon every two years for a maximum of seven days, but there are currently plans to introduce reform to the service by introducing two weeks’ training per year from 2022.
The Defence Minister added that there needs to be a political drive to bring reform to the military, in particular to restoring civilian audit and control.
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Defence Minister says reforms are needed (Image: Getty Images )
The US has invested billions into Taiwan’s military infrastructure (Image: Getty Images)
Mr Tsai said: “Reform from the top down before thinking about what to throw money at.”