Beijing could be preparing for a full-scale invasion of Taiwan: Report

Updated on Mar 01, 2021 09:04 AM IST
Gray zone conflicts are activities by a state that are harmful to another state and are sometimes considered to be acts of war, but are not legally acts of war.
Chinese Navy's amphibious transport dock Yimeng Shan takes part in a naval parade off the eastern port city of Qingdao. (REUTERS)
Chinese Navy's amphibious transport dock Yimeng Shan takes part in a naval parade off the eastern port city of Qingdao. (REUTERS)
ANI | , Taipei

China's 'gray zone' warfare against Taiwan is now at the highest level, which could mean that Beijing is preparing for a full-scale invasion, Focus Taiwan reported citing local military experts warned on Thursday.

Gray zone conflicts are activities by a state that are harmful to another state and are sometimes considered to be acts of war, but are not legally acts of war.

Shu Hsiao-huang, an analyst at the government-funded Institute for National Defense and Security Research (INDSR), said that in gray-zone conflicts, the participants rely on unconventional tools, tactics and the use of non-state entities that do not cross over into formal state-level aggression.

Due to ambiguity of the enemy's actions, the targets of 'gray-zone' warfare are often uncertain how to immediately respond, he said.

Over the past years, Beijing has been conducting "gray-zone" warfare against Taipei, using tactics such as propaganda campaigns, economic pressure, online rumours, and disinformation via content farms to put political pressure on the Taiwan government, Shu said.

That type of warfare against Taiwan is now at its highest level, which could mean that Beijing is preparing for a full-scale invasion, although high tensions do not necessarily mean physical war, he said.

At the forum, former Defense Minister Andrew Yang said Beijing has been engaged in a "war of attrition," with the aim of wearing down Taiwan politically, militarily, and psychologically.

Fortunately, the international community in recent years has been paying closer attention to China's military manoeuvres near Taiwan, and they are also on high alert over the growing military threat posed by Beijing, Yang said.

Beijing claims full sovereignty over Taiwan, a democracy of almost 24 million people located off the southeastern coast of mainland China, despite the fact that the two sides have been governed separately for more than seven decades.

Taipei, on the other hand, has countered the Chinese aggression by increasing strategic ties with democracies including the US, which has been repeatedly opposed by Beijing.

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