Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said Tuesday that China is practicing “gray zone” warfare against it with the aim of degrading and exhausting the island’s ability to defend itself.
In a report updated every two years, the ministry called the threat from China “grave.”
The report says China is using cyberwarfare, propaganda and international isolation to eventually force reunification without a direct military confrontation.
The report adds Beijing is also using more traditional means.
The report said China carried out 554 intrusions by flying warplanes into the island’s southwestern theater of air defense identification zone between September of last year and the end of August.
In October alone there were 148 intrusions, Taiwan said.
"Its intimidating behavior does not only consume our combat power and shake our faith and morale but also attempts to alter or challenge the status quo in the Taiwan Strait to ultimately achieve its goal of 'seizing Taiwan without a fight'," the ministry said.
In addition to citing air intrusions, the report said China’s People’s Liberation Army is able to isolate Taiwan.
"At present, the PLA is capable of performing local joint blockade against our critical harbors, airports and outbound flight routes, to cut off our air and sea lines of communication and impact the flow of our military supplies and logistic resources," the ministry said.
China’s PLA is in the middle of a massive modernization, which it aims to complete by 2035. Taiwan is also working to bolster its capabilities by producing its own weapons and increasing purchases of armaments from the United States.
China and Taiwan separated in 1949 after the Chinese Civil War. China maintains that Taiwan is part of China and that it should be reunited with the mainland, even by force.
Some information in this report comes from Reuters and The Associated Press.