Taiwan’s defense chief said on Tuesday that there are no signs mainland China is preparing for a war against Taiwan. The statement comes after frequent Chinese military drills and flights near the island, some that were sparked by a visit to Taiwan from a high-level US official.
“The Chinese communists have continued their acts of provocation against Taiwan, but there are currently no signs showing it is ready to launch a full-scale war,” Defense Minister Yen De-fa told Taiwan’s parliament.
One sign of an imminent attack from the mainland would be if China started massing troops on its eastern border with Taiwan, but Yen said that is not happening.
Tensions have been high in the region due to increased military activity from Washington, Beijing, and Taipei. Last week, China sent People’s Liberation Army aircraft across the sensitive median line, an informal dividing line in the Taiwan Strait that China usually avoids.
Last week, in response the PLA flights, Yen said Taiwan’s military has the right to “self-defense” and a “counter-attack” in the face of “high-frequency harassment and threats from the enemy’s warships and warplanes.”
The PLA aircraft incursions were sparked by a visit to Taiwan from US Undersecretary for Economic Affairs Keith Krach, the second high-level US official to visit the island in recent months. US Health Secretary Alex Azar visited Taipei in August, making him the highest-level US official to travel to Taiwan since Washington broke formal relations with Taipei in 1979.