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Escalating military tensions across the Taiwan Strait

Payam Javan: In light of escalating military tensions across the Taiwan Strait, Taiwan’s defense minister, Chiu Kuo-cheng, issued a warning on Monday that the island must be on high alert for a “sudden entry” by the Chinese military into areas near its territory this year.

In recent years, the Chinese government has increased its military operations near Taiwan, including nearly daily air force intrusions within the island’s air defense identification zone.

Taiwan has not, however, recorded any instances of Chinese military intruding into its contiguous zone, which is located 44.4 kilometers (24 nautical miles) from its coast. But, last year a civilian drone that was flying near an islet off the Chinese coast violated its airspace and was shot down.

The most significant foreign supplier of armaments to Taiwan is the United States, and growing American support for the democratic island has exacerbated already tense relations between the United States and China.

The CCP asserts that Taiwan is it’s own and has not abandoned using force to seize control of it if necessary. Taiwan vehemently disputes the CCP’s claims to sovereignty and maintains that only its citizens have the power to determine their future.

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