Former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe has warned China against a military invasion of Taiwan, expressing confidence that Tokyo and Washington would not stay idle if Beijing takes these drastic measures.
The emergency situation for Taiwan will be an emergency situation for Japan. And it will be an emergency situation for the Japanese-American alliance. The people of China, and especially President Xi Jinping, should not be mistaken about this,” he said while speaking at an online forum hosted by the Taiwan Institute for National Policy Studies.
Abe also said that at every meeting with Xi Jinping he openly told him that one should not underestimate Japan’s readiness to defend the Senkaku (Diaoyu) Islands, which are only about a hundred kilometers from Taiwan.
“A military invasion of Taiwan will inevitably become a serious threat to Japan,” he added.
The former head of the Japanese government expressed confidence that such an invasion would be akin to economic suicide.
Military adventures are a path to economic suicide. If such an adventure is committed against Taiwan, it will have a tremendous impact on the global economy and deeply hurt China,” he explained, emphasizing that Japan, the Taiwan administration and the entire democratic community should relentlessly urge Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party leadership not to tread the wrong path.
Earlier in June this year, then-Japanese Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso spoke about the need to jointly protect Taiwan (by Japan and the US) in the event of an invasion by China. Aso’s remarks then provoked a sharp reaction from Beijing.
Recently, Japanese PM Fumio Kishida said that he didn’t rule out pre-emptive strikes against enemies as a defensive measure. In a speech, Kishida said, “We will study all options necessary to bolster our defensive capabilities, including the ability to execute a preemptive strike against enemy bases.”
The Japanese PM is committed to taking all necessary measures to protect Japan’s territories, territorial waters, and airspace, as well as the lives of its residents. “This is the most essential responsibility that has been assigned to us,” Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi, also present at the live preview, said.
Taiwan has been ruled by its own administration since 1949, when the remnants of the Kuomintang forces led by Chiang Kai-shek (1887-1975) fled to the island after being defeated in the Chinese civil war.
Since then, Taiwan has retained the flag and some other attributes of the Republic of China, which existed on the mainland before the communists came to power. Beijing considers the island to be one of the provinces of the PRC.