Taiwanese nation-built Indigenous Defense Fighters (IDF) participate in the Han Kuang live-fire anti-landing military exercise, which simulates an enemy invasion, in Taichung, Taiwan on July 16, 2020. REUTERS / Ann Wang

TAIPEI, Nov.9 (Reuters) – Chinese armed forces are able to block major ports and airports in Taiwan, the island’s defense ministry said on Tuesday, offering its latest assessment of what it describes as a threat military “serious” posed by its giant neighbor.

China has never given up on the use of force to bring democratic Taiwan under its control and has stepped up military activities around the island, including repeatedly flying warplanes in the air defense zone. from Taiwan.

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry, in a report it publishes every two years, said China has launched what it called a “gray zone” war, citing 554 “intrusions” of aircraft from Chinese war in its southwestern theater of air defense identification area between September of last year and the end of August.

Military analysts say the tactic is aimed at subduing Taiwan through exhaustion, Reuters reported last year.

At the same time, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aims to complete the modernization of its forces by 2035 to “obtain superiority in possible operations against Taiwan and viable capabilities to ban foreign forces. , which poses a serious challenge to our national security, ”the Taiwanese ministry said.

“Right now, the PLA is able to carry out a joint local blockade against our ports, airports and critical outbound flight routes, to cut off our air and sea lines of communication and impact the flow of our supplies. military and our logistical resources, ”the ministry said. noted.

China considers Taiwan to be Chinese territory. His defense ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said Taiwan is already an independent country and is committed to defending its freedom and democracy.

Tsai has made strengthening Taiwan’s defenses a priority, pledging to produce more nationally-developed weapons, including submarines, and to purchase more equipment from the United States, the largest supplier of weapons of the island and international donor.

In October, Taiwan reported 148 Chinese Air Force planes in the southern and southwestern theater of the area over a four-day period, marking a dramatic escalation in tension between Taipei and Beijing. Read more

The recent increase in Chinese military exercises in the Taiwan Air Defense Identification Zone is part of what Taipei sees as a carefully planned harassment strategy.

“His intimidating behavior not only consumes our fighting power and shakes our faith and morale, but also attempts to change or challenge the status quo in the Taiwan Strait to ultimately achieve his goal of” seizing Taiwan without a fight. ” “the ministry said. .

To counter China’s attempt to “seize Taiwan quickly while refusing foreign intervention,” the ministry pledged to step up its efforts on “asymmetric warfare” to make any attack as painful and difficult for it as possible. China.

This includes precision long-range missile strikes on targets in China, the deployment of coastal minefields as well as the strengthening of reserve training. Read more

Reporting by Yimou Lee; additional reporting by Yew Lun Tian; edited by Robert Birsel

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