A former Taiwanese security official warned against “wishful thinking” when it comes to relying on the US preventing Beijing from forcibly reunifying Taiwan with the mainland. Taiwan has seen a recent uptick in People’s Liberation Army (PLA) airplanes flying near its airspace since the US military flew a cargo plane over the island on June 9th.
Su Chi, former secretary-general of Taiwan’s National Security Council, said a recent bill introduced in the US Senate might give the island false hope about the likelihood of the US coming to its aid. Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) introduced the Taiwan Defense Act on June 11th. The act calls on the US to maintain the ability to defeat a Chinese invasion of Taiwan.
Su is also worried about the growing tensions in the region and the lack of communication between Washington and Beijing. “Given the military imbalance between Taiwan and the mainland, the absence of cross-strait dialogue and no [efficient communication] mechanism in place between the US and the mainland, I am worried about the situation because anything could happen,” Su said.
Besides increased PLA flights near Taiwan, the US has also stepped up its activity. The US reportedly flew six warplanes in Taiwan’s airspace on Monday, in response to two PLA bombers that flew near Taiwan’s air defense zone earlier in the day. Last week, the US Air Force sent planes over the Bashi Channel, near Taiwan, en route to the South China Sea to monitor Chinese submarines six days in a row.