The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has been staging attacks on U.S. Navy ships, Taiwan’s defense ministry warned last week, adding that the Chinese Communist Party is working to block foreign militaries from helping Taiwan if a war erupts in the region.
A Taiwan defense ministry report reviewed by Reuters said that China is preparing to attack Taiwan. While the island governs itself as its own independent nation known as the Republic of China, the mainland People’s Republic of China (PRC) considers it part of Chinese territory.
The report, dated Sept. 1, said China has been “using combat drills to carry out simulated attacks on U.S. ships that enter into the first island chain,” which stretches from Japan through Taiwan, the Philippines and Borneo.
The report added that China plans to take control of the island chain by 2035. To achieve this goal, China may use special forces to “decapitate” Taiwan’s command systems and launch digital attacks to harm communications and command systems.
China has “substantially threatened our nation’s defence security and endangered peace, security and stability in the areas near the Taiwan Strait,” the report asserted, adding that China could use “gray-zone tactics,” including sending drones and rubber boats into Taiwanese territory.
Last week, Taiwanese forces shot down what they called an “unidentified civilian aerial camera” drone that flew over a Taiwanese-controlled island right off China’s coast. The incident comes as China has begun sending drones to surround and harass Taiwan.
Taiwan’s Kinmen Defense Command announced their troops were instructed to issue warnings and then shoot down a drone after it entered their airspace by flying over restricted waters of the Shiyu Island at around 12:30 p.m. local time Thursday. According to the Washington Post, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said the drone fell into the waters surrounding the island and has not been recovered.