Taiwan fears that China could mount a “full-scale” assault on the island nation within four years.
The warning of an invasion by 2025 came from Taiwanese defence minister Chiu Kuo-cheng nearly a week after a record number of Chinese military planes buzzed Taiwan’s air defence zone.
“With regards to staging an attack on Taiwan, they currently have the ability. But [China] has to pay the price,” said Chiu.
“We will make preparations militarily. I think our military is like this — if we need to fight, we will be on the front lines.”
Last week, China sent 150 bombers, including planes with nuclear capabilities into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone.
According to Chiu, it was “the most serious” provocation in the 40 years he’s served in the military.
In response to the incident, Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu stated that the country was “absolutely committed” to defend itself in the case of an invasion.
“The defence of Taiwan is in our own hands, and we are absolutely committed to that,” Wu told ABC’s China Tonight program.
“I’m sure that if China is going to launch an attack against Taiwan, I think they are going to suffer tremendously as well.”
Despite calls from the opposition in Canada to offer support to Taiwan, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has refused to take a strong stance on the conflict.
Earlier this year, the Liberal government even went so far as to try and block Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen from receiving the prestigious Halifax International Security Forum’s 2020 John McCain Prize for Leadership in Public Service.
Additionally, last month, Trudeau refused to offer support for Taiwan’s bid to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).