Last Friday, China flew an unmanned combat drone around the island, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said, demonstrating Beijing’s capacity to attack at will.
Over the past few years, China has increased military activity on the island to force Taipei to acquiesce to its territorial demands.
China sees Taiwan as part of China, rather than an independent democratically-elected government.
Early Friday morning, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry reported bellicose Chinese activity over its skies declaring 19 military aircraft entered its air defense identification zone.
Why Is This Significant?
One of these flying vehicles was a TB-001 drone, which Chieh Chung, a military researcher at Taiwan's National Policy Foundation think tank, said China would likely send the TB-001 to spot targets on the island's east coast in the event of a war.
Taiwan shelters reserve forces in this region of the island, offering geographical protection from Chinese military bases.
"It will allow the communist's military's naval and air forces in the Western Pacific, including air force strike groups or carrier battle groups, to launch attacks."
This is not the first time a Chinese drone has flown near Taiwanese skies, but this is the first recognized, and remarkably overt, violation of Taiwan’s air defense zone.
This particular drone is a menace among menaces with missile carriers, high-altitude range features, and long-range abilities.
In Beijing, the TB-001 is morbidly referred to as the "twin-tailed scorpion".
This escalation alarmed Washington and its allies, which have been disconcerted by China’s aggressive approach toward Taiwan for years now but especially in recent months.
The American Navy has positioned maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft through the Taiwan Strait, while the French Navy has deployed warships to the waterway.
According to the Western convention, the U.S. and France are operating within international law and upholding navigation rights in the “free and open” Indo-Pacific.
Again, American and European warships chilling in the Taiwan Strait is commonplace in recent years…
China unequivocally rejects the strait as “international waters” accusing the West of violating its sovereign rights over the Taiwan Strait.
To Washington, Taiwan is a distinctive democracy with sovereign rights.
To Beijing, Taiwan is a part of mainland China.
There is no way these competing ideologies can be reconciled peacefully.
Taiwan sides with the West in this dispute, but it doesn’t really have a choice.
It completely relies on the U.S. for support, and the White House is only interested in Taiwan because of its chips [semiconductors].
In fact, Taiwan produces over 60% of the world’s semiconductors and over 90% of the most advanced ones.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (TSMC) produces most of these chips by itself.
Just in case you didn’t know, America is not interested in Taiwan to simply “uphold democracy”... it’s never about that.
Whoever controls the chips control the future.