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Former Royal Navy commander and NATO commander Chris Parry said it is “not a good time for China to act” against Taiwan as he explained China would not be able to “take on the United States” in the event of a direct confrontation. Mr Parry forecasted what “we will see in the future” will be Taiwan living in “a constant state of alert” as he explained China might continue to perform “drills on short notice” to keep Taipei on high alert.
Asked about the potential for an imminent escalation, Mr Parry told Radio 4 Today: “I don’t think so.
“If you look at the rhetoric for Xi Jinping’s Communist Party it really dials down.
“I think on this occasion the Chinese are not prepared for any sort of military action.
“I don’t think with Covid and the economy not doing very well this is a good time for China to act in relation to Taiwan.
“Frankly they can’t take on the United States at the moment in military terms.”
He continued: “What is slightly disturbing is that if the Chinese can stand up these sort of drills on short notice and they keep doing it, these put Taiwan on alert all the time.
“We saw this with the Russians during the Cold War, they kept on sending aircraft and ships out in the Atlantic and we had to respond all the time.
“It’s a constant state of alert.
“I suspect this is the path we will see in the future.”
Referring to Taiwan, he added: “Taiwan has what we call porcupine capabilities and they’re gaining more capabilities in the future as they’re putting submarines for example.
“At the end of the day, the United States is committed to actually defending the island.
“Joe Biden said the US will help Taiwan defend its democracy and independence, that’s been denied by the State Department but in many ways, this is reinforced by Nancy Pelosi saying the United States will support democracy wherever it is found”.
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Taiwan’s Defence Minister confirmed that China had launched this morning a number of Dongfeng series missiles into the waters northeast and southwest of Taiwan.
At midday local time, China’s state TV announced the beginning of an “important military training exercise and organised live fire”.
The military drills are believed to be a direct response to Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei on Tuesday evening to meet Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen and confirm US commitment to Taiwan.
Ahead of the visit, President Joe Biden had openly shown his opposition to Ms Pelosi’s plans amid increasing tensions between China and Taiwan.
In a statement, he said the Pentagon considered the move too risky for global security reasons and, in light of the latest tensions, he claimed: “The military thinks it’s not a good idea right now”.
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