China Advises Taiwan To Stockpile Foods, Sparking Speculation of War

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen has been warned by China to stockpile food and prepare for the possibility of war. Beijing advised that Taiwanese authorities should take precautionary measures, especially preparing emergency supplies of food. The warning comes on the heels of heightened tensions between the two nations over their competing claims in the South China Sea. This is all leading many people to speculate that this may be a sign of impending military conflict with Taiwan.

On Sunday, Taiwan’s Defense Minister Feng Shih-kuan said that Beijing was moving troops and military aircraft closer to the island as it continues to flex its might in the region. A day later, China responded by advising President Tsai to pay attention to national defense and not worry so much about temporary phenomena. They also told her to watch out for every movement of the military aircraft and ships.

Feng mentioned that China’s air force had been carrying out live fire drills, as well as practicing refueling in the sky near Taiwan. He said that Beijing was moving troops and equipment toward Fujian Province which is located across from Taipei on mainland China. He also advised Taiwanese authorities to pay attention to the situation.

Feng admitted that he wasn’t sure if China was actually getting ready for military action but said it would be best if his country were to prepare for all possible events. Taiwan’s Central News Agency noted that Chinese state media have been reporting on their nation’s massive military exercises which they euphemistically refer to as war preparations.

Reuters reported that government spokesman Alex Huang tried to play down the significance of Feng’s remarks. He said that his nation was not overly concerned because there was no indication that China could attack Taiwan at this time.

Huang admitted though that his country had seen an increase in Chinese military activity but said it didn’t mean that the People’s Liberation Army had intended to invade Taiwan. He also pointed out that Beijing’s response warning Taiwanese authorities to be prepared for any military activities was just meant as a deterrent.

The United Daily News revealed on Tuesday that Tawianese intelligence reports showed China had moved aircraft and missiles closer to Fujian Province recently. Satellite imagery of the area showed that more than a dozen J-11 and JH-7 warplanes were actually flying close to the island. CNA also reported that additional Y-8 transport planes had been sent from Sichuan Province to Fujian recently.

Reuters said unidentified Taiwanese military sources admitted on Wednesday that their nation was struggling with reduced budgets as China continued to put pressure on them. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has trimmed the military budget by 3% but still expressed concern for China’s aggressive actions in the region.

Tsai said her government would continue to monitor their eastern neighbor closely while trying not to fear or panic about their next move. The United Daily News quoted her as saying she wasn’t overly worried about the situation but was aware of their right to self-defense.