Taiwan stockpiles supplies amid fear of Chinese ‘intimidation’

Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin on defending Taiwan

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Deputy economic minister Chen Chern-Chyi revealed that Taiwan must regularly ensure it has a reasonable number of important supplies in stock. The minister confirmed that the island conducts a monthly inventory of its supplies.

He said: “With respect to a possible military conflict, we have made preparations for food and for energy and critical supplies, including manufacturing supplies.

“We have a system – we do an inventory every month.”

The economic minister added: “We want to ensure that we have a certain period’s worth stockpiled in Taiwan, including food, including critical supplies, minerals, chemicals and energy of course.”

The fear of imminent attack from China has risen after Beijing increased political and military pressure on the island due to its belief that Taiwan is Chinese territory.

Diplomatic relations between the two regions have crumbled and Taiwan has felt increasing pressure from Beijing as regular military drills have occurred around the island since 2016.

When Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen took office six years ago, she adamantly refused to accept the “One China” principle, which enraged Beijing.

Following Nancy Pelosi’s controversial visit to the island in August, which came despite warnings from China, Beijing has conducted live-fire drills around the region and fired ballistic missiles.

The United States has committed to supporting Taiwan against Chinese aggression, but on Wednesday President Tsai vowed that Taiwan would not rely on others for its defence.

Tsai thanked the US for its support but said in an address to a Washington-based Global Taiwan Institute think tank, “we will not depend on others to come to our own defence”.

She added: “That is why I want to reiterate that Taiwan is fully committed to protecting our security and maintaining our democratic way of life.

“We’re also working to adapt our defence strategy to the changing threats we face.”

Part of this self-sufficiency has been shown through the island’s stockpiling which had slowed during the coronavirus pandemic but has now picked up again.

Increased “coercion and intimidation” is expected from China as President Xi Jinping is set to take on his third term.

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A senior official from Taiwan said: “We believe that the Beijing authorities’ work on Taiwan has entered the stage of strengthening the practice of the so-called anti-independence and promoting reunification.”

The head of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council said that Beijing will use “coercion and intimidation” and “grey zone” activities and international law to “interfere with and hinder Taiwan’s interaction and co-operation with the international community to achieve its goals towards Taiwan.”

It has not been revealed how much reserves are needed for Taiwan to endure a blockade or attack from Beijing.

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