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Taiwan says China not planning to attack Dongsha Island

Dongsha invasion will not occur during President Tsai's term in office, says intelligence chief

NSB chief Chen Ming-tong at the Legislative Yuan Thursday. 

NSB chief Chen Ming-tong at the Legislative Yuan Thursday.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — China will not try to take control of Dongsha Island during President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) period in office, Taiwan’s intelligence chief said Thursday (Nov. 4).

The island, officially part of the Kaohsiung City district of Qijin 450 kilometers away, is controlled by Taiwan. However, Chinese military plane incursions into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone have led to concern that Beijing might be preparing to launch an attack on Dongsha as the intrusions took place in the area between Taiwan and the disputed island.

There were discussions about an attack on Dongsha within the Chinese leadership, but it will not happen during Tsai’s presidency, Chen Ming-tong (陳明通), the director-general of the National Security Bureau (NSB), told lawmakers Thursday. Tsai’s second and final term as president runs until May 2024.

He said possible scenarios included China attacking and occupying remote islands to force Taiwan into negotiations, or Beijing launching a blockade, CNA reported. However, the NSB had concluded that such actions were unlikely to occur while President Tsai was still in office.

Chen acknowledged that tension between Taiwan and China was higher now than before, but he insisted it had not reached a level which would include a Chinese military attack.