Taipei admitted in a report it was facing severe security challenges from its nuclear-armed neighbour. China, which claims democratic Taiwan as part of its nation, has stepped up its military activities near the island.
They are responding to what Beijing calls “collusion” between Taipei and Washington.
Chinese fighter jets have crossed the midline of the Taiwan Strait over the past few weeks and have flown into Taiwan’s southwestern air defence identification zone.
The Strait normally serves as an official buffer between the island and the mainland.
Taiwan’s Defence Ministry said so far this year their air force had scrambled 4,132 times, up 129 percent compared to last year due to China’s military actions.
The Ministry said in a report: “China is trying to use unilateral military actions to change the security status quo in the Taiwan Strait, and at the same time is testing our response, increasing pressure on our air defences and shrinking our space for activity.
The report added the rapid development of China’s military has been accompanied by “targeted” military actions against Taiwan.
China has been particularly angered by growing US support for Taiwan especially as senior officials visited the island nation.
Whilst Taiwan is unable to compete numerically with China’s armed forces, President Tsai Ing-wen has been overseeing a military modernisation programme which aims to make the island’s armed forces more nimble and Taiwan more difficult to attack.
Chang Guan-chung, Taiwan’s deputy defence minister said China has been ramping up what he called “realistic training against Taiwan”.
He added: “We are developing systems that are small, numerous, smart, stealthy, fast, mobile, low-cost, survivable, effective, easy to develop, maintain and preserve, and difficult to detect and counter.
“We will also emphasise joint effort in training, operational concepts, capability assessment, intelligence sharing, and armament cooperation.
“These are equally important as the acquisition of hardware.”
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He also called for enhanced cooperation with the United States which goes beyond weapons sales, saying that would further invigorate Taiwan’s defence reform and military modernisation.
It comes as the speaker of the island’s parliament said he hoped US President Donald Trump can get better from the coronavirus soon so that he can continue to lead the free world in resisting China’s “outrages”.