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China prepares to invade Taiwan. The war in the gray zone has intensified to exhaust Taiwan. It will try to quickly take over the island to avoid external intervention, the defense report says

China has increased gray-zone tactics against Taiwan, according to a Ministry of National Defense (MND) report on Thursday (March 7). The ministry said that during a conflict, China would try to invade Taiwan quickly to prevent outside forces like the U.S. from intervening. China has a long tradition of starting its wars with surprise attacks, as American forces discovered in Korea in 1950 and the Vietnamese in 1979. Chinese military doctrine favors rapid, overwhelming assaults.

by Nicola e Gabriele Iuvinale

China has stepped up grey-zone warfare against Taiwan, aiming to make the areas around the democratic island "saturated" with balloons, drones and civilian boats, a Taiwan defence ministry report said on Thursday.

Taiwan, whose government rejects Beijing's sovereignty claims, has complained in recent years that China has been using so-called grey-zone warfare, which wields irregular tactics to exhaust a foe without resorting to open combat.

Gray zone tactics are defined as “an effort or series of efforts beyond steady-state deterrence and assurance that attempts to achieve one’s security objectives without resort to direct and sizable use of force.” In the report sent to the legislature, the MND said China has launched “multi-front saturated gray-zone” warfare to harass Taiwan, including increased Chinese aircraft and ship activity around the nation.

In a report sent to parliament the ministry said Beijing has launched "multi-front saturated grey-zone" tactics to harass Taiwan, including increased patrols of ships and planes.

China has attempted to "increase burdens of our naval and air forces and to obscure the existence of the median line in the strait", the report said, referring to an unofficial border between the two sides, which China's forces have began regularly crossing in recent years.

It added China has also incorporated research and militia vessels in a move to "disguise military activities with civilians".

To counter the Chinese threats, the ministry said it was working on measures to "preserve" its troops in the event of a war by boosting the resilience of its infrastructure and running drills to ensure Taiwan forces survive in a prolonged conflict. It also said it was drawing lessons from the war in Ukraine and the war between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.

The ministry said it is stockpiling weapons and fuel to endure a prolonged war with China.

In a conflict, China will try to speedily seize Taiwan and prevent external intervention, the ministry added. To complicate that, the island is working to diversify its command systems and incorporate more mobile and long-range weapons, as well as artificial intelligence, while boosting "connections" with democratic allies, including the United States. The report did not elaborate on what those steps entailed.

China said this week it would boost its defence spending by 7.2% this year, fuelling a military budget that has more than doubled under President Xi Jinping's 11 years in office as Beijing hardens its stance on Taiwan.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of parliament, Taiwan Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng said Taipei would not join an arms race with Beijing because it was an "indisputable fact" that China's military is more powerful than Taiwan's.

"The only thing we can do is to boost every aspect of our training," he said.

Taiwan Defense Ministry this week said it would this year increase the number of missile drills and begin night-time exercises for pilots.

Beijing last month begun regular coast guard patrols around the Taiwan-controlled Kinmen islands, which hug the Chinese coast, after two Chinese fishermen died trying to flee Taiwan's coast guard.

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