Taiwan stages live-fire military exercises after China threats

People's Liberation Army Navy Marine Corps members at a military port in Zhanjiang Guangdong province China on Dec. 9 2018 of China. The 31st fleet left Zhanjiang for the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia

Earlier this month, Chinese President Xi Jinping said China and Taiwan would be reunited and warned outsiders not to interfere with the country's affairs.

"Space and counterspace capabilities - like missile forces, advanced air and seapower, and cyber capabilities - are critical for China to fight and win modern military engagements", writes the Defense Intelligence Agency in its report, which was released Tuesday.

That has led to Beijing ratcheting up economic, military and diplomatic pressure on the island of 23 million.

General Li Zuocheng, a member of the Central Military Commission, told Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson: "If anyone wants to separate Taiwan from China, the Chinese army will defend the unity of the motherland at any cost". Though India can not hope to match China's ever-expanding military and economic clout, even as it remains opposed to "any militarization" of the so-called "Quad" with the US, Japan and Australia to not antagonize a prickly Beijing, New Delhi certainly needs to get its act together in the IOR.

M110A2 self-propelled howitzers fire during a military exercises. China considers Taiwan, which split from the mainland amid civil war in 1949, as an integral part of Chinese territory.

"As a lot of these technologies mature, as their reorganization of their military comes into effect, as they become more proficient with these capabilities, the concern is we'll reach a point where internally in their decision-making they will decide that using military force for regional conflict is something that is more imminent", the official added.

'China must and will be united. which is an inevitable requirement for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese people in the new era, ' Xi said in a January 2 speech commemorating the 40th anniversary of a message sent to Taiwan in 1979.

And the Chinese leader added that "we make no promise to renounce the use of force".

An OH-58 Kiowa helicopter fires during an anti-invasion drill.

The ministry reiterated that Taiwan is an independent, sovereign nation, a fact that would not be changed by China's actions, saying that such acts of bullying would only further "widen the rift between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait".

President Donald Trump imposed tariff increases of up to 25 percent on US$250 billion of Chinese imports over complaints Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology.

The report states that data submitted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows that "more than $13 billion in duties imposed by the Trump administration were assessed on imported goods as of December 18", but that actual receipt could "lag and be lower" due to refunds and other factors.

In mid-2016, China allocated Dollars 600 billion as part of a three-year plan (2016-2018) to continue improving its transportation network and passed the Defence Transportation Law (DTL) authorising the management, development and production of dual-use facilities and equipment to support national and regional PLA operations, the report said.

Last October, tens of thousands of Taiwan independence campaigners took to the streets in the first large-scale protest calling for an outright independence vote since the island first became a democracy more than 20 years ago.

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