Taiwan Military ‘Combat Ready’ Due to Increased China Invasion Risk

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (front C) gestures with navy soldiers during the domesticall
Sam Yeh/AFP/Getty Images

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen ordered her country’s military to be “combat ready” on Wednesday in case an “outside force” stages an attack on the sovereign island while the West is distracted by an unfolding crisis between Russia and Ukraine, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported.

“Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has ordered the island’s armed and security forces to step up their surveillance, remain alert for military activity in the region and strengthen combat readiness as tensions between Russia and Ukraine mount,” the SCMP revealed on February 23.

“Tsai, concerned about the worsening Ukraine situation, met top officials on Wednesday and sought counsel over how the self-ruled island should react and how the crisis would affect Taiwan,” according to the newspaper.

“We should continue to strengthen the combat readiness of our forces in the Taiwan Strait to ensure our safety,” she told Taiwanese government officials during the meeting.

Tsai noted Taiwan “could only react swiftly and manage contingencies by raising surveillance and being vigilant against military activity around Taiwan and in the Indo-Pacific region.”

While Tsai did not explicitly refer to China on Wednesday, the East Asian giant has long been Taipei’s greatest foe. Beijing claims Taiwan — an island located off China’s southeastern coast — as a “renegade” province despite its internationally recognized status as a sovereign island nation. Taiwan operates independently with its own constitution, democratically elected government, and military. China’s modern interest in the island dates back to 1949 when China’s ruling political party at the time — the Kuomintang (KMT) — was forced into exile after its defeat during the Chinese Civil War (1927-1949). The KMT subsequently fled to Taiwan, where it ruled the island nation for four decades before Taipei underwent democratic reforms.

Taiwan has grown independently wealthy in recent years thanks to its extremely lucrative semiconductor industry, which produces the greatest share of microchips on Earth.

“Taiwan dominates the foundry market, or the outsourcing of semiconductor manufacturing,” CNBC observed in March 2021. “Its contract manufacturers together accounted for more than 60% of total global foundry revenue last year.”

“Much of Taiwan’s dominance can be attributed to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co or TSMC, the world’s largest foundry that counts major technology firms such as Apple, Qualcomm and Nvidia as its clients. TSMC accounted for 54% of total foundry revenue globally last year,” according to the financial news outlet.

Observers believe the Chinese Communist Party has ramped up its political and militaristic aggression toward Taipei over the past few years, in part because it hopes to someday seize control of the island’s highly coveted microchip industry.


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