Taiwan needs to strengthen military cooperation with neighboring countries: expert

Chinese military aircraft and ships passed close to Taiwan Tuesday

  1232
A Taiwanese IDF close to a Chinese Shaanxi Y-8 transport aircraft Tuesday in a picture released by the Ministry of National Defense.

A Taiwanese IDF close to a Chinese Shaanxi Y-8 transport aircraft Tuesday in a picture released by the Ministry of National Defense. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - As four Chinese air force planes and two navy vessels appeared close to the coast of southern Taiwan Tuesday, an expert recommended Taiwan forge closer military ties with its democratic neighbors.

The Ministry of National Defense released a picture of one of its Indigenous Defense Fighters closing in on a Chinese Shaanxi Y-8 transport aircraft Tuesday.

China wanted to show that its policies toward Taiwan had not changed even as the opposition Kuomintang had made significant gains in the November 24 local elections, said Lin Ying-yu (林穎佑), an assistant professor and expert in international strategy at National Chung Cheng University.

Any Chinese military activity in the area surrounding Taiwan not only posed a threat against the island, but also against its neighbors, so Taipei should seek closer military ties to those countries, the Central News Agency quoted Lin as saying.

The government should tell neighboring democracies that China’s military is “not only Taiwan’s threat, but also yours” and take the opportunity to intensify contacts, Lin said.

The latest exercises might be designed to test the readiness and ability of Chinese bombers to play a role in aerial and naval warfare in the area, he added.

Military officials said Tuesday’s actions were only the beginning, with Chinese maneuvers likely to increase in scale and reach during late December and January, CNA reported.