TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In response to U.S. media questions over why China has recently stepped up its aggressive intrusions into Taiwan's Air Defense Idenifitican Zone (ADIZ), a Canadian scholar said that the autocracy is trying to "erode state cohesion" and that Taiwan's existence is a "living condemnation of the CCP."
Chinese fighter jets and warships intruded into Taiwan's ADIZ about 40 times from Sept. 9 to 10. During a press conference on Sept. 10, Major General Yang Ching-se (楊靜瑟) showed a schematic diagram of the PLA's exercises in Taiwan's southwestern ADIZ and pointed out that some of the warplanes had come within 90 nautical miles (166 kilometers) of Taiwan.
In May, China's state-run mouthpiece the Global Times warned that a mock amphibious assault on Hainan Island slated for August, which was to include two aircraft carriers, could potentially become a real invasion of Taiwan's Dongsha Islands (Pratas Islands).
Although the simulated landing has yet to take place, China has dispatched its aircraft carriers, the Liaoning and the Shandong, on simultaneous sea drills. Meanwhile, Taiwan's Coast Guard has acknowledged increased foreign shipping activity near the disputed islands but denied a siege was taking place.
On Sept. 10, Fox News sought insight into China's latest aggressive acts from J. Michael Cole, a Taipei-based Senior Fellow with the Global Taiwan Institute in Washington, D.C., the Macdonald-Laurier Institute in Ottawa, Canada, and the Asia Research Institute: Taiwan at the University of Nottingham. Cole pointed that out because China has failed to win the hearts and minds of the Taiwanese people, as evidenced by President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) resounding victory over pro-China candidate Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), Beijing has switched to a punitive strategy.
Cole stated that China has resorted to "increased military coercion, efforts to isolate Taiwan internationally, and various attempts to undermine the effectiveness of Taiwan's democratic institutions, support for those institutions" in order to "erode state cohesion." The scholar then asserted that the very existence of Taiwan as "a democratic society is a living condemnation of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party)"
He then warned it is possible China will run out of alternatives and when its patience wears thin come to the conclusion that it can only "'resolve' the issue through the use of force." Cole observed that the CCP has constructed a "dangerous ultra-nationalism" that leaves no room for "failure, backing down, or de-escalation."
The continued refusal by Taiwan to submit to Beijing's rule contradicts the CCP's narrative of inevitable unification, "and it resents that," said Cole.