China's War With Taiwan Is Already Underway

(MENAFN- Asia Times) KINMEN, Taiwan – The Shun Da was kilometers off course. Authorized by China's Maritime Safety Administration to
dredge the seafloor
for a new bridge near Xiamen, the Chinese-flagged vessel was instead buzzing the Taiwanese coast guard on Taiwan's Dadan Island, about 16 kilometers to the southwest.

“It's not supposed to be here,” said Asheng, a deckhand aboard a Taiwanese tourist boat that guided a journalist through the restricted waterway – and within a few hundred meters of the Shun Da's stern.“But it happens all the time ,” he added.

As the People's Liberation army wrapped up two days of military exercises around Taiwan last month, which China's military called a
“dress rehearsal”
for a full-scale assault, the self-governing island's leaders were focused elsewhere: On the margins, in the dark spaces where Beijing's“gray zone” tactics quietly encroach on Taiwanese sovereignty.

“It has become a regular reality that we have to deal with,” said one high-ranking government official who spoke on condition of anonymity to the sensitivity of the matter.“Not just the military drills and exercises but near daily encroachment” into Taiwan's airspace, sea lanes and even its politics.

China's hybrid warfare – harder to see than kinetic tactics but no less threatening – is ramping up. As Taiwan's new president, Lai Ching-te – William Lai – seeks to maintain a delicate peace across the Taiwan Strait, China is doubling down on efforts to wage political, cognitive and maritime assaults.

Its goal? To upend the status quo without firing a shot, observers say.


Taiwan President Lai Ching-te is in Beijing's crosshairs. Photo: X Screengrab / Taipei News Photographer Association

“The Chinese communists' pressure on Taiwan is all-encompassing, especially diplomatically,” Taiwanese Foreign Minister Lin Chia-lung said recently .“The Chinese communists are continuing to change the status quo. They are creating a new normal, pressing on at every stage, trying to nibble away and annex (us).”


Asia Times

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