Taiwan's foreign minister said on Wednesday that if China strikes, the island will fight to the end, adding that the US sees a risk of this happening amid mounting Chinese military pressure, including aircraft carrier drills near the island.
Claimed by the Chinese In recent months, Taiwan has protested about Beijing's repeated military operations, with China's air force making almost regular forays into Taiwan's air defense identification zone. China said on Monday that an aircraft carrier group was practicing near the island.
“From what I've seen of American decision-makers watching events in this area, they clearly see the danger of China launching an attack on Taiwan,” Joseph Wu told reporters at his ministry.
“We are ready to defend ourselves without hesitation, and we will fight the war if it is necessary. And if we have to protect ourselves until the end of the world, we will defend ourselves until the end of the world.”
Taiwan's most powerful foreign sponsor and weapons supplier, the United States, has been pressuring Taipei to modernize its military so that it can become a "porcupine" that is difficult to strike by China.
Wu claimed that they were committed to enhancing their military capability and rising defense spending.
“We are responsible for Taiwan's defense. We'll make every effort to boost our defense capabilities.”
At a separate event, Taiwan's Defense Ministry announced that eight days of computer-assisted war games simulating a Chinese attack on Taiwan would be held this month, marking the start of Taiwan's largest annual war games, the Han Kuang exercises.
In July, a second process will take place, which will include live-fire exercises.
Major General Liu Yu-Ping told reporters, "The drills are planned based on the toughest enemy threats, simulating all possible scenarios on an enemy attack on Taiwan."
The second phase of Taiwan's war games will see 8,000 reservists mobilized to engage in live-fire, anti-landing exercises, and hospital drills to deal with the influx of heavy casualties.
When asked if the American Institute in Taiwan, Washington's de facto embassy in Taiwan, would send members to the drills, Liu said such a proposal was "discussed" but "will not be implemented" due to military sensitivity.
Taiwan has not stated where the Chinese carrier group is currently stationed or whether it will proceed to the contested South China Sea, where a US carrier group is stationed.
Deputy Defence Minister Chang Che-ping said in parliament that the Chinese carrier's movements were being closely monitored and that its exercises were routine.