The Sun : China ‘gears up for invasion war games’ and threatens to ‘reunify’ Taiwan as Beijing hits back at Donald Trump

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TAIWAN has vowed to defend itself amid reports that China is building up forces to conduct war games simulating invading its islands.

The country's military said it was monitoring "hostile forces" in the South China Sea and was preparing to defend the Pratas islands after reports that Beijing was planning beach landing exercises on nearby Hainan island.

Special forces soldiers wave farewell on the deck in Zhoushan as it deploys for exercises
Rex Features

China people's Liberation Army Navy will be flexing its muscle in a dress rehearsal for invasion
China people's Liberation Army Navy will be flexing its muscle in a dress rehearsal for invasion
Getty - Contributor

It comes after Beijing threatened to "reunify" Taiwan in response to Donald Trump saying he could "cut off the whole relationship" with China.

Tensions have been growing between the US and China continue to rise over the origins of COVID-19

Seizing the outlying islands would represent a serious escalation of hostilities and could drag in the US through its pact to defend Taiwan.

Taiwan — broke away from China in 1949 — but the Chinese ruling party regards the island as a "renegade state"  and has vowed to take it back by force if necessary by 2050.

Landing exercises in August will test the strength and effectiveness of Beijing's navy.


It would involve a "large numbers of Marines, landing ships, hovercraft and helicopters: manoeuvres on an unprecedented scale" Chinese sources told the Kyodo news agency in Japan.

Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert, told the state-run Global Times that simulated landings could deter what it called Taiwan "separatists". 

He said: "Exercises such as this are aimed at islands like the Dongsha . . . and the larger island, namely Taiwan. 

"If Taiwan secessionists insist on secession, military exercises can turn into action any time."

Marines will also be involved in the exercise
Marines will also be involved in the exercise

Last year the US signed a $2.2bn (£1.8bn) weapons deal with Taipei to beef up its defences.

This included Abrams tanks and Stinger missiles.

All this week the United States have been launching their own war games in a clear signal to China which has been using the coronavirus crisis to assert control of the vital South China Sea and flex its military muscles.

The move came in response to reports Chinese ships were harassing Panamanian-flagged vessel West Capella, which was drilling for oil in an area claimed by Malaysia.

It was the second time in a month US warships had to be deployed to deter alleged Chinese harassment of neighbouring countries.

In addition, in a massive show of air power, the US Air Force has flown all three types of its bomber aircraft on long-range missions over the past week.

Beijing claims it owns most of the disputed South China Sea, despite several other countries having seemingly legitimate claims under international law.

Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Brunei all claim rights to their own chunks under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The convention states that nations' claims to the waters around them must be measured from land.

In response to a question about whether the US should refuse Chinese nationals student visas for sensitive science areas, Trump told Fox News: "I'm very disappointed in China. I will tell you that right now.

"There are many things we could do. We could cut off the whole relationship. Now if you did, what would happen? You'd save $500 billion."

China's 35th fleet leaves port at Zhoushan, eastern China, last month
Rex Features

An airstrip and buildings on China's man-made Subi Reef in the Spratly islands
AP:Associated Press

Chinese sailors march in Hong Kong, China (file image)
Getty Images - Getty

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