EDITORIAL: Strengthening U.S.-Japan Military Relations

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US Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines and other US officials told a US Senate hearing on Tuesday that China remains committed to invading Taiwan and making its military capable of doing so by 2030. US Defense Intelligence Agency Scott Berrier said that until China was ready to attempt an invasion, he would continue to threaten Taiwan militarily.

This was evident over the past week as the Chinese military conducted joint exercises with its aircraft and carrier group along the southern and eastern parts of the Air Defense Identification Zone ( ADIZ) from Taiwan from Thursday to Sunday. China also flew a WZ-10 attack helicopter across the centerline of the Taiwan Strait and on Tuesday issued a warning to the US Navy guided-missile cruiser USS Port Royal, which was conducting a “freedom of navigation” through the Taiwan Strait, Reuters reported.

As China bolsters its military, Taiwan is implementing a new training program for reservists and focusing on its asymmetric warfare capabilities, Deutsche Welle reported on March 15. In practice, that would mean the use of “weapons like coastal defense cruise missiles” and “short-range mobile air defenses, smart naval mines or drones,” director Bonnie Glaser told the channel. of the Asia program at the German Marshall Fund.

Ian Easton, senior director of the Project 2049 Institute, an American think tank, was also quoted in the report as saying the best option for Taiwan would be a defensive alliance with the United States and an “updated” military training program. and intensified.

Taiwan is responding to Chinese threats by offering additional training to reservists and through bills recently proposed by Democratic Progressive Party lawmakers, including Chang Liao Wan-chien (張廖萬堅), that would prepare private security guards for Taiwan has wartime roles. A TVBS News Network poll in March also showed majority public support for female military conscripts and longer service requirements.

Ukrainian civilians took up arms and joined in the defense effort. While a conflict between Taiwan and China would mostly occur at sea or in the air, the Taiwanese might be better prepared for combat. This could include training in the use of drones, missile systems and anti-aircraft guns. Widespread small arms training – including training in urban warfare and guerrilla warfare – would also be useful if Chinese forces make landfall in Taiwan.

It’s unclear whether Washington would commit troops to a conflict, but the government should at least continue to push the United States to share intelligence. As more and more F-16 aircraft are upgraded with new communication systems through the F-16V program, reconnaissance and targeting information could be safely shared between the Taiwanese military and forces. Americans stationed in Okinawa. Japanese systems could also be linked with Taiwan’s in such an effort.

If the United States plans to deploy troops to the Taiwan Strait during a conflict, it should begin preparations with increased joint training in and around Taiwan, and accompany freedom of navigation exercises with calls at Taiwanese ports.

In 2017, the US Senate Armed Services Committee passed a provision that would reinstate regular visits by US Navy ships to Kaohsiung or “other appropriate ports” and allow US Pacific Command to “receive ports of Taiwan stopover. Such stops would improve combat readiness and could serve as a deterrent to Chinese aggression without being more provocative than crossings through the Taiwan Strait.

China has no intention of reducing its aggression against Taiwan, despite the unity shown by the United States and NATO in the face of Russian aggression. Taiwan should step up military conscription and training, and increase joint readiness with the United States and Japan.

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