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Is China Planning To Attack Taiwan When US, Europe Are Busy With Covid-19?



China has been supplying face masks, testing kits, ventilators, bio suits, and medical equipments to help various countries tackle the coronavirus outbreak that first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

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However, this so-called assistance by China is seen by many as a part of its larger global public relations initiative aimed at turning the tide in its favor after global leaders including US President Donald Trump accused Beijing of suppressing the extent of the coronavirus outbreak.

Even if the help offered by China does manage to quell some anger, is it enough to justify its actions against Taiwan? 

Even at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic in China, Chinese authorities were not only busy fighting the rising infections, mass producing all the necessary medical equipments but also conducting aggressive maneuvers against its tiny neighbor Taiwan.

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China has not allowed the coronavirus to get in its way of muscle-flexing. In February when China was locked in a severe battle against the coronavirus, locking down its entire city of Wuhan, it was also sending its jet fighters into Taiwanese airspace, claimed Alexander Huang of Tamkang University.

In fact, as per Huang, Taiwan’s operation command center has been on high alert since February and had to scramble its own fighter jets to thwart the Chinese.

In the latest incident of China’s aggressive and threatening maneuvers, the Chinese regime sent fighter jets and surveillance aircraft well inside the halfway mark of the Taiwan Strait that separates Taiwan from China on March 16 2020.

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In addition, the Taiwan coastguard said that one of the Chinese speedboats rammed into Kinmen islands which is hardly 5 km from Taiwan.

All the offensive maneuvers by Beijing had forced Taiwan’s deputy defense minister to warn China saying, “At the height of the coronavirus pandemic worldwide, if Chinese Communists attempted to make any regional military adventure leading to a regional conflict, they would be severely condemned by the world. We are all ready and have made the best preparation.”

In fact, Taiwan has been so rattled by Beijing’s offensive tactics that it conducted a mock combat drill in Yuanshan, south-east of Taipei which was intended to repel any Chinese invasion. The drill was carried out not on Taiwan’s borders but well inside a city suggesting that Taiwan is gearing for a battle to fight till the end.

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50-tonne tanks camouflaged as inconspicuously as possible in the city traffic, rolled down on city streets next to delivery trucks and yellow taxis.

Taipei’s fears are well justified and its actions well warranted given that China has been sending around 2,000 bomber patrols in the Taiwan Strait, according to Taiwan’s defense minister.

In 2016, when Tsai Ing-Wen a fierce opponent of China was elected as Taiwan’s President, China began sending bombers as a show of strength. In 2019, the Chinese jets for the first time breached the half-way of Taiwan Strait in two decades.

In December later that year, China sent its first domestically built aircraft carrier in the strait just two weeks before the presidential election which Tsai Ing-Wen won again.

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China-Taiwan Rivalry

Taiwan first appeared as a part of China in the historical records dating back to AD 239, a fact that Beijing still uses to back its territorial claim.  The Qing dynasty ousted the Dutch East India Company and ruled mainland China and Taiwan from 1683-1895.

In the 17th Century, Chinese people started to settle in Taiwan. Following the first Sino-Japanese War, the Qing dynasty relinquished Taiwan to Japan. However, after Japans’ defeat in World War-II, the Republic of China (ROC) formed in 1912 began ruling China under the leadership of Chiang Kai-Shek.

The ROC was beaten by Mao Zedong’s communist army in 1948 in a civil war. The ROC then shifted its base to Taiwan where it faced resistance from local people because of its handling of the Fen 28 Massacre and authoritarian rule that led to the civil war.

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However, after decades of hostilities, China though considering the ROC government in Taiwan illegitimate offered a formula of one country two systems under which Taiwan was to be given significant autonomy if it accepted reunification with China, but was rejected.

ROC leaders simultaneously under pressure in Taiwan ever since they entered the country finally allowed for its democratization which resulted in the election of its first non-ROC president.

China was further alarmed when the newly elected president Chen Shui-bian openly backed Taiwan’s independence. His re-election in 2004 forced China to pass an anti secessionist law in 2005 which allowed China to use ‘non-peaceful means’ against Taiwan if it tried to secede. Election of Tsai Ing-Wen too has further increased the volatility of the situation.

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The ROC Government which fled to Taiwan from China had claimed to represent entire China and intended to re-occupy it. It held the China’s seat till 1971 in United Nations and was recognized by many Western Governments.

But in 1971, the UN switched diplomatic recognition to Beijing forcing the ROC Government out. Chinese economic might too has forced various other governments to derecognize ROC. While China has called Taiwan as a breakaway province, Taiwanese leaders have argued that it is a sovereign state with its own constitution and 300,000 strong army.

Role of The US In China-Taiwan Conflict

The United States ended its diplomatic recognition of Taiwan in 1979 when then-President Jimmy Carter decided to develop economic ties with a blooming China. However, the US Congress in response to the President’s move passed the Taiwan Relations Act which promised to supply Taiwan with ‘defensive weapons’ insisting that any attack by China against Taiwan would be of grave concern to the US.

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The act states that “the United States will make available to Taiwan such defense articles and defense services in such quantity as may be necessary to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense capabilities”

In 1996, the then President of US — Bill Clinton in response to China’s missile test sent its ships to Taiwan Strait to warn Beijing. In fact, since February 2020, the United States has sailed its warship through the Taiwan Strait three times.

It also agreed to sell Taipei 66 F-16 fighter jets for $8 billion dollars. Just two days after China had sent its fighter jets in the Strait in February, America also dispatched two stealth B-52 bombers near Taiwan’s east coast to reassure the tiny island country.


Asia Pacific

India, China Agree To Withdraw Troops From LAC; The Question Is Who Will Pull-Out First?

India, China have agreed to withdraw their frontline soldiers from the Line of Actual Control after elongated discussions between Indian NSA Ajit Doval and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Experts have questioned – who will withdraw first – Indian or Chinese soldiers?



India and China have agreed to withdraw troops from the contested Line of Actual Control, the de-facto India-China border region, after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval spoke on Sunday night.

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The Chinese Foreign Ministry released the contents of the discussion which revealed that India and China had reached an agreement on four key points. One is that they agreed to take guidance from the important accord reached by the top leaders (Modi and Xi), which attaches great significance to the stability of the border areas with the development of bilateral relations, and put border disputes in a proper perspective to evade heightening the border clashes writes the Chinese state media – the Global Times.

India and China also welcomed the progress achieved in the recent military and diplomatic meetings, agreed to stay in dialogue and consultation and emphasised the necessity to act on the agreement reached in the commander-level talks and to complete withdrawal of the front-line soldiers as soon as possible, according to the FM release.

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In response to a question on whether China has withdrawn troops from the contested Galwan Valley, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that both sides have agreed on disengagements of border troops. “We hope the two sides could meet each other halfway in implementing these agreements,” Zhao said.

The present talks between China and India strive to prevent the border situation from worsening any further, and it is an agreement reached by the two sides to defuse the tensions, Qian Feng, director of the research department of the National Strategy Institute at Tsinghua University.

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“Meetings of China-India Special Representatives are the top political measures to handle the border issues, only second to the summit of leaders from the two countries, and it is safe to say that the special representative agreements send a positive signal to ease border tensions,” Zhao Gancheng, director of the Center for Asia-Pacific Studies at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies said.

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The details of the pact, such as who will withdraw first – Indian or Chinese soldiers could be carried out in a “silent” manner, to avoid instigation public sentiments or provoking unreasonable emotions, especially in India, Zhao stated.

The India media reports that Chinese PLA troops have moved back tents, vehicles and soldiers by few kilometres from locations where disengagement was agreed upon at Corps Commander-level talks have not been confirmed by the Chinese officials.

Via: The Global Times

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Asia Pacific

On Dalai Lama’s 85th Birthday, Is It Time For India To Reset ‘One China’ Policy?



As the Tibetan leader Dalai Lama celebrates his 85th birthday, there is a debate amongst experts whether India should reset its ‘One China’ policy. The discussions began after a host of Indian politicians sent wishes to His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama in the midst of the feud with China. 

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The ‘One China’ policy is the diplomatic acknowledgement of China’s position that there is only one Chinese government. Under the policy, countries recognise and have formal ties with China rather Taiwan and consider disputed territories such as Tibet, Xinjiang and Hong Kong an inseparable part of China.

For years, India has maintained a low profile when it comes to Tibetan politics and gone at lengths to ensure that the ‘One China’ policy is not violated. In 2018, the Government of India ordered its officials to stay away from a rally marking 60 years of Dalai Lama in India.

Tibet has been a bone of contention between New Delhi and Beijing since 1959 when Dalai Lama escaped to Assam after a failed revolt against the Chinese. After India gave him refuge and allowed an exiled Tibetan government to operate from Dharamsala, China has viewed India with suspicion and blamed New Delhi for supporting anti-China activities.

According to experts at EurAsian Times, the fact that Indian politicians today extended wishes to Dalai Lama mark a major departure from India’s policy from two years ago.

Birthday greetings were sent by Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports, Pema Khandu, chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh, RK Mathur, the lieutenant governor of Ladakh.

India should make Tibet a Key Issue

Speaking to Economic Times, Lobsang Sangay, President of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) said that India should make Tibet one of the key issues in Sino-India policies. Similar views are shared by Indian experts who believe it is time India re-assessed its ‘one China’ policy.

The 51-year old spoke about the strategic significance of Tibet — historically, geopolitically, culturally and ecologically as Tibet is the water tower of Asia and stressed on the importance of Tibet in being part of Indian policies with regards to China.

India is home to the largest Tibetan population in exile and has always found support from the community whenever New Delhi has clashed with Beijing.

Recently, Indian-Americans, Tibetan-Americans and Taiwanese-Americans took to the streets in New York to protest against increased Chinese aggression in the midst of a global pandemic. The group held placards of “Boycott China” and “Stop Chinese Abuse” as they shouted slogans against the country.

India is not the only country at the receiving end of Chinese aggression. Beijing has also clashed with Bhutan, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Japan, Taiwan and the United States.

The Sino-Indian dispute in Ladakh seems to have cooled down after both countries retreated and established a 4-kilometre no-man zone earlier today. The dispute with China in Ladakh has been going on since the first week of June and so far has resulted in the death of 20 Indian soldiers and unconfirmed numbers on the Chinese side.

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Asia Pacific

Bubonic Plague: China On ‘High Alert’ After Suspected Cases Of Bubonic Plague Reported 

The suspected cases of bubonic plague were reported on Saturday by a hospital in Bayannur, China. Two cases of the bubonic plague were reported from the same area less than 8 months ago.



After COVID-19, Bubonic Plague has got China and the world worried. China is on high alert after suspected cases of bubonic plague were reported.

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The suspected cases of bubonic plague were reported on Saturday by a hospital in Bayannur, China. Two cases of the bubonic plague were reported from the same area less than 8 months ago.

The confirmed cases are a 27-year-old resident and his 17-year-old brother, who are being treated at two separate hospitals in their province. Reports indicate that the duo ate marmot meat. A total of 146 people who had contact with them have been isolated and treated at local hospitals.

According to state-run People’s Daily Online, Bayannur, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, announced a level III warning of plague prevention and control. The local health authority announced that the warning period will continue until the end of 2020.

“At present, there is a risk of a human plague epidemic spreading in this city. The public should improve its self-protection awareness and ability, and report abnormal health conditions promptly,” the local health authority said.

The commission also issued an advisory for residents in the area to prevent people-to-people infection including not to hunt and eat animals that could cause plague infections.

Bubonic plague is a rare but serious bacterial infection transmitted by fleas from rodents and has the potential to be transmitted to other animals or humans. According to the World Health Organization, bubonic plague can kill an adult in less than 24 hours if not treated in time.

There are three types of plague, a bacterial infection caused by Yersinia pestis: septicemic, which spreads in the blood; bubonic, which affects the lymph nodes; and pneumonic, which affects the lungs.

The news about the deadly disease comes a week after Chinese researchers issued an early warning over another potential pandemic caused by an influenza virus in pigs. From 2010 to 2015, there have been over 3,200 reported cases of bubonic plague, which resulted in 584 deaths.

According to the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the bubonic plague was responsible for wiping out millions in medieval Europe before spreading to Asia and Africa in the 14th century.

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