03/25/2022, 15.43
TAIWAN - CHINA
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Taiwan’s intelligence chief says Beijing not likely to launch invasion next fall

Chen Ming-tong dismissed the claim, allegedly from Russia’s security services, as “cognitive warfare” against Taiwan. Xi Jinping wants stability before the 20th Congress of the Communist Party. About 90 per cent of Taiwanese reject Chinese efforts at reunification.

Taipei (AsiaNews) – Chen Ming-tong, director general of Taiwan’s National Security Bureau (NSB), told the country’s parliament yesterday that it is “highly unlikely" that China would attempt to invade the island in the fall.

This followed reports by Vladimir Osechkin, head of the human rights project gulagu.net, that Chinese President Xi Jinping planned to invade the island next autumn, but that the Russian aggression of Ukraine, and the difficulties encountered by Moscow on the battlefield, seemingly persuaded him not to go ahead with the move.

To back his claims, Osechkin published a document he says he got from a whistleblower in Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB). According to Chen though, the so-called Russian document is part of China’s "cognitive warfare” against Taiwan, but he did not say whether it came from Russia or China.

The NSB chief noted that that Xi wants stability on the eve of the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of China in order to ensure his re-election to a third, historic term of office.

Chen does not even believe that Beijing wants to adopt a "reunification law” with a deadline to seize the island since it would put too much pressure on China’s leadership, severely raising tensions between the two sides.

A 2005 law provides Chinese leaders with the legal basis for military action against Taiwan should the island’s government declare independence or be about to do so. China considers Taiwan a "rebel province", and has never ruled out taking it by force.

Taiwan has been de facto independent from the mainland since 1949 when Chiang Kai-shek's nationalist forces found refuge on the island after losing the civil war against the communists, and formally retaining the name of Republic of China, which was founded in 1912.

In Taiwan, a poll conducted by Chengchi University’s Election Study Center found that most Taiwanese are against Chinese efforts at reunification.

Conducted on behalf of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), the survey found that almost 90 per cent of respondents reject Beijing's repeated claims that Taiwan is part of China.

About 88.6 per cent support Tsai Ing-wen's government in its quest for closer cooperation with other democracies to safeguard peace along the Taiwan Strait.

One of the latter, Lithuania, plans to open a representative office on the island by mid-year. This follows the opening of Taiwan’s diplomatic mission in Vilnius last year using the name “Taiwanese”, which saw China retaliate by boycotting Lithuanian trade.

In January, the European Union filed a complaint against Beijing's coercive policy against the Baltic country to the World Trade Organisation.

Finally, more than 80 per cent of the Taiwanese polled believe that relations between Taiwan and China should be decided by Taiwan’s 23 million people.

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