A new threat assessment from Taiwan’s Defense Ministry claims Taiwan’s defenses — largely supplied with American weaponry — are highly vulnerable to a Chinese electronic attack.
China “can combine with its internet army to launch wired and wireless attacks against the global internet, which would initially paralyse our air defences, command of the sea and counter-attack system abilities,” the report said, according to Reuters.
At a time when China is taking an increasingly aggressive stance toward Taiwan, the report said a potential Chinese cyberattack presents “a huge threat to us.”
The report said China can launch “electronic attacks” blocking communications across the western part of the island chain of which Taiwan is a part.
China claims it rightfully has jurisdiction over Taiwan, which became the refuge of the nationalist Chinese government after the Communist Revolution of 1949.
The U.S. has bent to China’s will by not having formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but it has consistently supported the island nation with arms sales.
The new report characterized the threat posed by Beijing as graver than it was a year ago, but it noted that China lacks the transport and logistical ability to easily launch a full-scale ground invasion of Taiwan.
However, the report also noted that China is improving in those areas.
China boasts precision missile capability that would allow it to hit Taiwan anywhere it chooses, thus potentially paralyzing military command centers.
The report said spies loyal to China already in Taiwan could launch a “decapitation strike” against the nation’s economic and political infrastructure.
Although Taiwan has the support of nations such as the U.S., the report said China is positioning itself to stall any country trying to come to Taiwan’s aid using its aircraft carriers and long-range missiles.
The report listed seven events that could trigger an invasion.
These include a declaration of independence or a clear intent to declare independence, the arrival of foreign troops on Taiwan or intervention by foreigners in Taiwanese affairs, and Taiwan obtaining nuclear weapons, according to Bloomberg.
China has staged military exercises that included flying its aircraft into Taiwan’s air defense zone.
Earlier this summer, threats flowed from China after a Japanese official said Japan should defend Taiwan if China ever invades it.
The Communist Party-run Global Times responded to the comment from Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso with an editorial proclaiming that “Japan will dig its own grave if it crosses red line of Taiwan question.”
Hu Xijin, chief editor of the Times, went even further by saying China would “destroy” any Japanese forces that got in its way.
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