© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Navy Force destroyer under the Eastern Theatre Command of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) takes part in military exercises in the waters around Taiwan, at an undisclosed location August 8, 2022 in this handout picture released on Augu
By Yimou Lee
TAIPEI (Reuters) -China has been simulating attacks on U.S. Navy ships and is aiming to prevent foreign forces from coming to Taiwan’s aid in the event of a war, Taiwan’s defence ministry said in a strongly worded report raising the alarm on Beijing’s military designs.
Tensions between Taiwan and China have soared following a visit to Taipei last month by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, which infuriated Beijing, which viewed it as an interference in its affairs.
China, which claims democratically-governed Taiwan as its own despite the strong objections of the Taipei government, carried out war games after Pelosi’s trip and is continuing its military activities near the island.
Taiwan’s defence ministry, in a report to parliament that was reviewed by Reuters, said China was continuing to strengthen its combat preparedness for an attack on the island. It was focusing on the first island chain, which runs from Japan through Taiwan, the Philippines and on to Borneo, enclosing China’s coastal seas.
There was no immediate response from Beijing to the report.
China has been “using combat drills to carry out simulated attacks on U.S. ships that enter into the first island chain”, the report said.
Starting this year, the ministry said China has increased its military intimidation including drills that aim to undermine Taiwan’s morale and “force negotiations with a war” and “force a unification with arms”.
China could use special forces or agents to “decapitate” Taiwan’s command systems and damage infrastructure in an attack, and is capable of launching electronic attacks to disrupt communications and command systems, said the report which was dated Thursday.
China could also blockade Taiwan and cut off its energy supplies and economy, it added.