0805: U.S. Bans “Dishonest” Taiwan Maps, Japan Call for Attentin to “Survival of Taiwan, Taiwan’s New Missiles

U.S. House Passes a Bill Prohibiting the Funding for Maps That Depict Taiwan as Part of China

On July 28, the House of Representatives passed the “Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2022” (H.R.4373) with an amendment that “[p]rohibits the expenditure of funds to create, procure or display any map that depicts Taiwan as part of the People’s Republic of China.”

The amendment was raised by five representatives ― Tom Tiffany, Steve Chabot, Scott Perry, Kat Cammack, and Mike Gallagher ― and was passed unanimously in a bundle with a dozen other amendments.

Speaking on the House floor, Tiffany said: “This is a common sense measure. As we all know, Taiwan has never been part of Communist China. The Taiwanese people elect their own leaders, raise their own armed forces, conduct their own foreign policy, and maintain their own international trade agreements.”

“By every measure, Taiwan is a sovereign, democratic and independent country. Any claims to the contrary are simply false,” he said.

Rep. Tiffany further argued that the U.S. should abandon the dishonest “One China Policy” that acknowledges “Beijing’s bogus argument that Taiwan is part of Communist China,” and while this amendment cannot achieve that, it will “at least require honest maps that stop perpetuating the ‘One-China’ lie.”

This appropriations bill was passed the House with a vote of 217-212, and now heads to the Senate.

Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou thanked the U.S. lawmakers for their “continued show of support through concrete actions.” Taiwan will follow the bill’s progress, maintain its close ties with the U.S. executive and legislative branches and continue to deepen positive U.S.-Taiwan relations, Ou said.

[1] Focus Taiwan: https://focustaiwan.tw/politics/202107290007
[2] Newsweek: https://www.newsweek.com/taiwan-house-motion-bans-map-showing-island-part-china-independent-1614208

Japan Calls for International Attention to “Survival of Taiwan,” While Boosting Allied Capabilities to Counter China’s Area Denial Tactics

On August 2, Japan’s Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi called on the world to pay greater attention to the “survival of Taiwan” amid China’s increased military threats in the region. “We’re seeing various moves by China that work to envelop Taiwan,” Kishi warned.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Kishi said that Japan’s strong message was that peace in the Taiwan Strait would only be assured if the international community demanded it, and broad international pressure was the key to prevent Taiwan’s future being decided by China’s use of military force. “Rather than a direct military collision between China and Taiwan, international society needs to pay greater attention to the survival of Taiwan,” he said.

On August 3, Kishi confirmed plans that will boost allied capabilities to counter China’s area denial tactics within the first island chain. The Japanese government is planning to deploy anti-aircraft and anti-ship missile units to the Ishigaki Island, which is part of Okinawa Prefecture and lies just 185 miles from Taiwan and even closer to the disputed Senkaku Islands. Moreover, the Japanese defense ministry is studying the feasibility of stationing additional electronic warfare units in Japan’s westernmost inhabited island of Yonaguni, which is less than 70 miles from Taiwan.

Kishi’s recent comments and the ministry’s above-mentioned plans follow recent moves by Japan to more openly support Taiwan and express deep concern over Taiwan’s security.

In June, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga publicly referred to Taiwan as a “country,” and State Minister of Defense Yasuhide Nakayama urged to protect Taiwan “as a democratic country” and questioned the validity of the “One China Policy.” In July, Deputy Prime Minister Aso Taro urged that if China invades Taiwan, “Japan and the U.S. must defend Taiwan together,” and Japan’s defense white paper for the first time stressed that “stabilizing the situation surrounding Taiwan” is crucial for Japan’s security.

According to the Financial Times, U.S. and Japanese military officials have begun serious planning, including top-secret tabletop war games and joint exercises, for a possible military conflict between China and Taiwan.

[1] Financial Times: https://www.ft.com/content/e82fe924-ba9b-4325-b8a4-0d5482ee1d24
[2] Taiwan News: https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/4263306
[3] Newsweek: https://www.newsweek.com/japan-deploy-island-missile-defenses-counter-china-military-blockade-1615659

Taiwan to Mass Produce Extended-Range Air-to-Air Missiles/International Alliance in South China Sea Expanding

An extended-range version of Taiwan’s indigenous Tien Chien II (TC-2) “Sky Sword” air-to-air missile has undergone successful testing and will enter mass production as soon as next year, as part of Taiwan’s efforts to counter China.

The goal is to equip the Taiwan Air Force’s Indigenous Defense Fighter (IDF) jets with the extended-range missiles, which would serve as a more powerful deterrent to China’s frequent incursions into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ). The upgraded TC-2 missiles have an extended effective range of 100km, up from 60km, as well as increased precision. Taiwan’s Air Force has ordered 250-300 of the new TC-2C missiles, at a cost of NT$30 million (US$1.07 million) each, and they will be mounted on the country’s 129 IDF jets.

Meanwhile, Germany is sending a warship on a transit through the South China Sea for the first time since 2002, joining other nations in expanding their military presence in the region amid growing concern about China’s territorial ambitions. The U.S., which regularly conducts Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOPs) in contested waters, has been leading the efforts, alongside countries such as France, the U.K., Australia, and soon India too.

China claims almost the entire 1.3 million square miles of the South China Sea as its own, despite a 2016 arbitral tribunal ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague to the contrary.

There is a risk Germany could draw China’s ire as the U.K. did recently when it sent the Queen Elizabeth strike group through the contested South China Sea, leading Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of China’s state-run Global Times, to deride the U.K. as a “bitch” who was “asking for a beating.”

[1] Focus Taiwan: https://focustaiwan.tw/politics/202108040022
[2] Taipei Times: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2017/12/25/2003684599
[3] Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/world/china/german-warship-heads-south-china-sea-amid-tension-with-beijing-2021-08-02/
[4] Taiwan News: https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/4264358