Destined for war? Beijing's provocations against Taiwan

(To Tiziano Ciocchetti)

For two consecutive days, in February, China sent its strategic bombers over the Taiwan Strait, with the consequence of raising the tension between Beijing and Taipei.

The Ministry of Defense of the island announced that the H-6 bombers, escorted by J-11 fighters, had flown over half that divides the waters of the Strait, towards the coast of Taiwan. The aircraft first maximized engine power and then retired. It was the second complaint by Taiwan, since 2016, of the encroachment of Chinese jets into the Strait.

The H-6 used in the operation were part of a "training mission in the Pacific".

The aircraft had first passed through the Bashi Canal, which separates Taiwan from the Philippines, and then had headed for the Straits, according to the Ministry. There was no comment from Beijing on the incident. However, on the same day, theChinese Office for Taiwanese Affairs urged the Progressive Democratic Party (DPP), in power on the island, to "Don't play with fire". According to Beijing, the DPP had "Adopted a position that increases the clashes in the strait, intensifying new operations in Taiwan and the United States, taking advantage of the opportunity to seek independence with openly dangerous provocations ".

China criticized these facts by stating that Taiwan remains the most sensitive issue in its relations with the United States.

For its part, the President of Taiwan, Ms. Tsai Ing-wen, had stated that Beijing should focus on controlling the spread of coronavirus rather than wasting time on threatening Taiwan.

Taiwan has long accused China of the "encirclement" policy it is pursuing towards the island. The episode of three months ago saw Chinese J-11 fighters and H-6 bombers fly over the Bashi Canal, south of Taiwan, and then headed to the Pacific, before returning to the base, through the Miyako Strait, located between the Japanese islands of Miyako and Okinawa, north-east of Taiwan.

"To respond to this challenge, the ROCAF (Republic of China Air Force) has taken off the F-16 Block 20 and activated the anti-aircraft defense device (Taiwan may have 6 surface-to-air missile batteries Sky Bow I / II / III; 6 batteries of Skyguard; 19 batteries of MIM-23 I-Hawk; 18 MIM-104 launchers Patriot PAC-3, Editor's Note) in accordance with the rules of combat readiness ", the Taipei Ministry of Defense reported.

"Communist China's long-range offshore missions have an impact on regional security and stability and endanger the peace and well-being shared by all sides."

Taiwan is considered by China to be a secessionist province, which will have to return, sooner or later, to the orbit of the motherland if necessary also with the use of force. A will reaffirmed in 2005, with the anti-secession law and reaffirmed in 2018 through the declarations of the Chinese president (for life) Xi Jinping who claimed that history would have inflicted exemplary punishment on all those who had harmed the unity of the country.

However the island enjoys, de facto, an independent government that defines itself Republic of China (ROC), in continuity with the first republic founded on the Chinese continent in 1912 by the Chinese Nationalist Party (Guomindang), who arrived in Taipei at the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949.

In the same year, the People's Republic of China was founded in Beijing, which defines itself as the only legitimate government of all the Chinese people and asks all the countries with which it establishes diplomatic relations to accept the principle of "one China".

Relations between Taipei and Beijing have further deteriorated following the spread of COVID-19.

Taiwan has accused Beijing of preventing the island from accessing the complete health information provided by the World Health Organization (WHO).