China is at the brink, as Beijing considered attacking Taiwan’s small Pratas Islands.
Chen Mingtong, Taiwan’s top security advisor, said that the country has decided not yet to do so until at most 2024.
China has yet to respond to the claims, but 2024 is when President Tsai Ing-wen’s term ends.
The President’s decision to delay the 2024 deadline is not significant. China will only be interested in seeing if the President can be replaced on any future peace deals.
On Thursday, Mr Chen spoke out about China’s plans at a Taiwanese parliament meeting.
The Pratas Islands, which are largely uninhabited, can be found approximately 400km from Taiwan.
Mr Chen said: “Capturing the Pratas Islands – this scenario where war is being used to force [Taiwan into] talks – our assessment is that this will not happen during President Tsai’s tenure.
“Frankly speaking, they have internally debated this before.
“We obviously have some understanding – in the next one, two, three years, within President Tsai’s tenure, it won’t happen.”
Adding the the increasing rhetoric between the two nations, Taiwan’s Defence Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said: “For the military, the current situation is the grimmest in the more than 40 years since I joined the service.
“[China] is capable [of war] now but it has to calculate what it would cost, and what kind of outcome it wishes to achieve.”
But it wasn’t all bad news for Taiwan, as US chairman of joint chiefs of staff said that the country will defend Taiwan if it had to.
Earlier this week he said: “We absolutely have the capability to do all kinds of things around the world, to include that if required.
“We absolutely have the capability. There’s no question about that.”
“Having said that, though, the Chinese are clearly and unambiguously building the capability to provide those options to the national leadership if they so choose at some point in the future.
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“We are witnessing one of the largest shifts in global geostrategic power that the world has witnessed
A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, who didn’t take kindly to the American comments, said: “No one should underestimate China‘s firm determination and will to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity – we will never allow anyone or any force to separate Taiwan from the motherland in any way.
“The US should pursue a real One China policy, instead of a fake one, fulfil its commitments to China faithfully rather than treacherously, truly implement the One China policy and put it into action, instead of saying one thing and doing the opposite.”