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Defense/Military

Biden Said U.S. Will Defend Taiwan In the Event of a China Invasion

The 60 Minutes TV program that aired on Sunday, September 18, showed an interview with U.S. President Biden on September 15, in which Biden clearly stated that the U.S. will defend Taiwan.

The 60 Minutes correspondent, Scott Pelley, asked President Biden,”What should Chinese President Xi know about your commitment to Taiwan?”

Biden answered, “We agree with what we signed onto a long time ago,” “that there’s one China policy, and that Taiwan makes its own judgments about their independence. We are not moving– we’re not encouraging their being independent. We’re not– that– that’s their decision.”

“But would U.S. forces defend the island?” Pelley asked.

“Yes, if in fact there was an unprecedented attack,” Biden said.

“So unlike Ukraine, to be clear, sir,” Pelley continued, “U.S. forces, U.S. men and women would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion?”

“Yes,” Biden replied.

Many observers felt this would shift the U.S. policy on defending Taiwan from “strategic ambiguity” to “strategic clarity.”

This is the fourth time that President Biden said the U.S. will defend Taiwan if China invades the island. He made similar statements last October and also in May this year.

Each time afterward, including the recent 60 Minutes interview, the White House spokesperson said the U.S. position on Taiwan has not changed.

Robert Tsao, a Taiwanese tech tycoon, told Financial Times in an interview that Taiwan’s stand-off with China is not about unification or independence. “These are fake issues,” he said. “China’s nationalism is anti-civilizational. Taiwan, on the other hand, stands on the side of civilization, which values reason, science, progress, peace, human rights, the rule of law and democracy. That is why we cannot be together with them.(ie. with China)”

Sources:
1. VOA, September 20, 2022
https://www.voachinese.com/a/us-taiwan-china-2022-09-19/6754043.html
2. CBS, September 18, 2022
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/president-joe-biden-taiwan-60-minutes-2022-09-18/
3. Financial Times, September 20, 2022
https://www.ft.com/content/e72d62af-7f01-40d4-83dc-b15612cf9764

Global Times: India’s First Domestically Built Aircraft Carrier Officially Commissioned

Global Times recently reported that, on September 2, after 17 years of construction and testing, India’s first domestically built aircraft carrier, the INS Vikrant, was officially deployed. India has become one of the few countries in the world to have the most advanced defense technology. India now has two active-duty aircraft carriers. However, the new aircraft carrier still has serious shortcomings. The deployment of carrier-based aircraft has not yet begun. In addition, the aircraft carrier also lacks a radar system. Some Western media also touted India, saying it marks its entry into the elite alliance of the world’s naval powers. Western media also described India’s domestic aircraft carrier as “a response to the Chinese threat.” It is to “deal with rival China’s much larger and growing fleet.” China is regarded by India as its most powerful competitor. China is ahead of India in terms of the number and technology of aircraft carriers. However, Western analysts expressed the belief that India has had decades of experience in aircraft carrier operation and combat. India imported its first aircraft carrier  from the UK in 1961. The new Indian aircraft carrier also raises doubts in neighboring countries. The Center for Strategic and Contemporary Research, a Pakistani think tank, recently issued a report saying that India’s first domestically-made aircraft carrier may seize air and sea dominance in the far seas of Pakistan and achieve a blockade of the line of transportation with Pakistan.

Source: Global Times, September 3, 2022
https://mil.huanqiu.com/article/49UqiWaUCAD

For The First Time, Taiwan Shot Down China’s Drone

On September 1, for the first time, Taiwan’s military force shot down a civilian drone from China after sending a warnings to China not to invade its air space.

China views Taiwan as a rebel-occupied island and claims it is a part of China’s own territory. China has escalated tension in the Taiwan Strait for several months. Recently, a few dozen airplanes flew into Taiwan’s air space on a daily basis. After U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island  China has fired missiles in the area surrounding Taiwan.

China also sent civilian drones to the Taiwan-controlled islands that are closer to the mainland. On the Internet, China even displayed the image of Taiwanese soldiers.’Their faces were taken by the drone at a short distance.

Tsai Ing-wen, President of Taiwan, gave the order on Tuesday to the Ministry of National Defense to take necessary and strong countermeasures in a timely manner to defend national security. Tsai said that, though Taiwan would not provoke disputes. that did not mean that it would not take proper actions.

On the same day, shortly after President Tsai’s order, Taiwan fired warning shots at China’s drones for the first time in Kinmen, a Taiwan-controlled island opposite to China’s Xiamen City. The Chinese drones flew away.

On Thursday, troops on the islet warned another Chinese drone but to no effect. Then they shot down the drone, with its remains falling to the sea.

Source: U.S. News and World Report, September 1, 2022
https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2022-09-01/taiwan-shoots-down-unidentified-drone-in-kinmen

China Will Attend Russia’s Military Exercises

Despite the Western world’s sanctioning of Russia for invading Ukraine, China maintains closer ties with Russia. One of its recent actions is to plan to join Russia’s military exercise.

China’s Ministry of Defense announced on August 17 that it will send troops to join Russia’s military exercise “Vostok” (East) exercises from August 30 to September 5.

The announcement stated, “China’s participation in the exercise is aimed at deepening practical and friendly cooperation with the armies of the participating countries, improving strategic collaboration, strengthening the ability to respond to various security threats, and has nothing to do with the current international and regional situation.”

Russia rotates its military exercises among its military theaters every year. It held the military drill in its west theater in September last year. Belarus, India, Pakistan, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia and Sri Lanka participated in it.

Source:
1. China Government Ministry of Defense Website, August 17, 2022
http://www.mod.gov.cn/topnews/2022-08/17/content_4918561.htm?yikikata=7593b487-e571aa197f9a58947e98a2458a2124be
2. Net Ease, July 28, 2022
https://www.163.com/dy/article/HDBIKM3H0514R9OJ.html

China’s Military Recruiting Targets Science and Technology College Graduates

China’s Ministry of Defense announced that it will recruit more college graduates into the armed forces to boost its education quality.

At a Ministry of Defense press conference on August 25, Senior Colonel Tan Kefei, the military spokesperson, talked about China’s new military recruiting this year, “According to the recruitment order issued by the State Council and (the Chinese Communist Party’s) Central Military Commissions, the military will recruit soldiers twice this year. The second half-year recruitment started on August 15 and will end by September 30. The recruitment is targeting college students, focusing on college graduates at all levels, with priority given to science and technology students and skilled personnel who are needed to prepare for war. … The age limit for masters’ graduates and college students has been raised to under 26 years old (it used to be 24 years). To encourage high-quality youth actively and enthusiastically to apply for enlistment, the relevant departments of the military continue to implement a series of preferential policies for enlisted college students to retain their schooling or school enrollment status, receive state education subsidies, be able to switch their college major after retiring from the military (some colleges have restrictions on students switching their major), exempt from tertiary school to college entrance exam, and receive extra points in graduate study entrance exam.”

Some commentators said that Beijing did this as part of improving its military quality and part of releasing the unemployment stress for college graduates. China’s National Statistics Bureau reported the unemployment rate as 19.9 percent for youth who are between the age of 16 and 24.

Source:
1. Net Ease, August 26, 2022
https://www.163.com/dy/article/HFN1FSVN0530SFP3.html
2. People’s Daily, August 15, 2022
http://finance.people.com.cn/n1/2022/0815/c1004-32502731.html

CNA: Taiwan Society Remained Calm Despite the CCP’s Military Threats

Primary Taiwanese news agency Central News Agency (CNA) recently reported that, Beijing announced military exercises around Taiwan from August 4 to 7 in response to the House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit from the U.S. Foreign media stationed in Taiwan observed that the Taiwanese society was calm as usual and could not feel the tense atmosphere. On the afternoon of the 4th of August, the Chinese Communist Party launched 11 Dongfeng series ballistic missiles in fractional waves towards the waters surrounding the northern, southern and eastern parts of Taiwan. The Japanese Defense Ministry presumed that four of the missiles flew over Taiwan based on five of the missiles falling into the waters of Japan’s exclusive economic zone. Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense pointed out that it was necessary to  grasp the launch dynamics immediately, activate relevant defense systems and strengthen combat readiness. A report from the Associated Press from Keelung pointed out that, despite the large-scale military exercises by the Communist army, the atmosphere in Taiwan society remained calm. A BBC reporter said that most of the people he interviewed did not believe that the Communist army was going to attack Taiwan this time. Another fisherman said, “They are just a group of bandits. These Communists only talk big and can’t do anything. We have been listening to their threats for 70 years.”

Source: CNA, August 5, 2022
https://www.cna.com.tw/news/aipl/202208050124.aspx

North Dakota Governor Urged Federal Investigation of Chinese Company’s Purchase of Land near Air Force Base

Doug Burgum, Governor of North Dakoda wrote a letter to Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen and Lloyd Austin, Secretary of Defense, asking the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to speed up its review of the Chinese company Fufeng Group’s plan to  purchase land in North Dakota because it is a national security concern. Also in a letter to the U.S. Department of Defense ,Senators John Hoeven, Kevin Cramer and Marco Rubio requested that (CFIUS) conduct a review of the Fufeng Group’s land purchase.

Fufeng Group wants to buy 360 acres of land in Grand Forks, North Dakota, to build a corn processing plant. However, the site just happens to be only 22 miles away from the Grand Forks Air Force Base, which is what raises the national security issue.

China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co. Ltd bought Cirrus Aircraft, headquartered in Duluth, Minnesota in 2011. Cirrus has factories in Duluth and Grand Forks. Its Grand Forks plant was even closer to the air force base than Fufeng Group’s planned plant site.

Source: VOA, July 28, 2022
https://www.voachinese.com/a/burgum-calls-for-security-review-of-chinese-firm-s-project-20220727/6676606.html

China’s Anti-Tank Missiles Will Set NATO Tanks on Fire

In the Russia-Ukraine war, many anti-tank missiles provided by the West have caused heavy losses to the Russian armored forces. However, Russia’s “Free Press” website reported on July 21 that China has developed the most advanced anti-tank weapons. They will set NATO tanks on fire.

The Russian media said Chinese weapons manufacturers are pushing the United States and other NATO members out of the international arms market with similar weapons. “Soon, China will conquer the world market for anti-tank weapons. Many countries, including Iran, Algeria, Nigeria  and others … are already buying Chinese anti-tank missiles.

The report refers to the latest model of China’s famous, “Red Arrow” series of anti-tank missiles. The “Red Arrow 12,” which in Chinese is Hongjian-12 (HJ-12). It is a third generation, man-portable, fire-and-forget infrared homing anti-tank missile and was developed by China North Industries Corporation (Norinco).

According to the report, China’s ‘HJ-12’ has proven to be more effective than both the U.S. ‘Javelin’ and the Israeli ‘Long Nail’ anti-tank missiles.” Compared to its NATO counterpart, the Chinese HJ-12 has a much longer effective range — it can hit moving targets such as tanks from 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) away during the day and up to 2 kilometers at night.

Besides, the “HJ-12” can be launched in a closed space. It is first propelled by a takeoff engine, with a small initial speed out of the tube, and with less tail jet gas. After a certain distance, the main engine starts to speed up and climbs. This “cold launch” technology means that it can even be launched from an ordinary apartment, making it easier to conduct urban warfare. In contrast, the U.S. Javelin anti-tank missile has many limitations when used in urban alley warfare. The tail flame is likely to burn the firer in confined spaces.

In addition, the report also mentions that the “HJ-12” has a powerful strike capability. The operator can choose between different combat modes: direct attack or top-attack mode, where the missile will hit the target from above at an almost vertical angle.

Meanwhile, China has been improving its anti-tank technology. China’s Poly Defense Corporation unveiled its next-generation GAM-10X anti-tank missile at the recent Defense Services Asia exhibition in Kuala Lumpur. This missile is capable of penetrating reactive armor up to one meter thick and can also be used as a man-portable weapon. It can also be fired from an enclosed space. The missile uses uncooled components that significantly reduce the missile’s launch preparation time. “Meaning that it can lock onto a tank’s infrared signature and fire as soon as it appears.” In addition, another major advantage is its modular design. This makes it easy to be integrated and mounted on a variety of platforms such as light all-terrain vehicles or tracked infantry fighting vehicles. It can also be mounted on a heavy tripod and used as a static defense or assault weapon.”

Source: China.com, July 22, 2022.
https://military.china.com/news/13004177/20220722/42889756.html