Tensions with China worst in 40 years, says Taiwan

well every day on outside source we bring you the biggest stories from around the world and taiwan’s president is now vowing to defend its democracy against an aggressive china the president’s published an essay in foreign affairs magazine and in it she warns of catastrophic consequences if the island were to fall to china she says this would mean authoritarians have the upper hand over democracy and she adds that while taiwan doesn’t seek confrontation it would do whatever it takes to defend itself but the context is that in the past four days a record number of chinese warplanes have entered airspace around the taiwan controlled pratis islands to which taiwan’s prime minister has said this definitely needs to be on alert china is increasingly over the top the world has also seen china’s repeated violations of regional peace and pressure on taiwan so democratic countries have repeatedly issued warnings that our countrymen have to be self-reliant we have also seen president tsai ceaselessly supporting the national army we must come together as one and strengthen ourselves only then will countries that want to annex taiwan not dare to easily resort to force well for over a year taiwan’s reported china’s jets flying nearby now it’s saying that since friday over 150 chinese warplanes including jets and nuclear-capable bombers have entered this same area it’s what taiwan calls its air defense zone to be clear this zone’s not the same as taiwan’s territorial airspace which china hasn’t entered regardless there’s concern this is japan’s response we hope that this matter related to taiwan will be resolved peacefully between the parties involved through direct talks and this has always been our consistent stance we will continue to keep a close watch on related developments at the same time instead of simply monitoring the situation we hope to weigh the various scenarios that may arise to consider what options we have and the preparations we must make there’s even more long-term context as well because this is happening after decades of disputes over taiwan status china and taiwan were divided during a civil war in the 1940s and there has been disagreement over taiwan’s status ever since beijing views taiwan as a breakaway province which is found to take back by force if necessary taiwan though sees itself as its own sovereign nation although its legal status is unclear it has virtually all the characteristics of an independent state this is the taiwanese president speaking to the bbc’s john sudworth in january we don’t have a need to declare ourselves an independent statement we are an independent country as already and we call ourselves republican china taiwan and we do have government and we have the military and and we have elections so that was january that same month the u.s reassured taiwan of its continued support now while the u.s doesn’t formally have ties with the taiwanese government joe biden said his commitment to taiwan was rock solid the white house has repeated that message this week we remain concerned by the people’s republic of china’s provocative military activity near taiwan which is destabilizing risk miscalculations and undermines a regional peace and stability we urge beijing to seize its military diplomatic and economic pressure and coercion against taiwan and we have an abiding interest in peace and stability across the taiwan strait that’s why we will continue to assist taiwan in maintaining a sufficient self-defense capability well in response to that china has told the u.s engaging in taiwan independence is a dead end it goes on china will take all steps needed and firmly smash any taiwan independence plots and china has issued this warning before he’s a military spokesperson speaking last year china is firmly opposed to any form of official exchanges or military contacts between the united states and taiwan national rejuvenation and reunification is the common aspiration of the people and is an irresistible trend of the times those who follow it will prosper the question now is why is china increasing its air activity here’s the analysis of our bbc asia pacific editor celia hatton immediately it’s trying to test taiwan’s defenses every time uh the beijing flies warplanes in anywhere near taiwan’s uh airspace uh into its air defense zone taiwan has to really you know scramble jets if it wants to it doesn’t have to i guess but it needs to monitor it needs to to test its own resources so there’s that beijing’s also testing diplomatic boundaries as well how far can it go how many planes can it fly into that air defense zone before others respond and how will they respond so there’s that also domestically this is a time when china is celebrating its national day nationalist sentiments are very very high uh this is a time when many people are flying chinese flags outside their homes they’re they’re spread across neighborhoods across china and i think beijing’s on a bit of a high right now they’ve successfully subdued opposition in hong kong and now i think they’re looking to show what more they can do and so really it’s it’s it’s buying into that sort of nationalist sentiment that’s really running high throughout china right now celia hatton from bbc world service let’s pick up on one of celia’s points because this headline in china’s global times in an editorial reads time to warn taiwan secessionists and their fermenters war is real it warns that the peaceful atmosphere that existed in the area only a few years ago has all but disappeared well let’s get further analysis on this from howard zhang from bbc chinese howard what’s your reading of the situation why do you think the chinese have cranked up the pressure the chinese cranking up the pressure also following a series of military exercises by u.s led multinational navies just at the end of august and early september i think most audience probably remember even the united kingdom had the hms queen elizabeth for the first time a carrier group sailing to asia and to south china sea one of the british warships even sailed directly through the taiwan strait and then they met up with the u.s expeditionary force in the area and joined by japan netherland and you know so it’s a multinational major show of force full of tilla and had a major exercise there and then the hmns queen elizabeth also went over to japan for a visit and then came back to south china sea so in many ways uh beijing you know always wanted possibly to give him a response i think this in in one way following celia what silly just said national day in beijing october 1st they want to show a force and show their determination and also uh following in a couple days october 10th is the national day of taiwan or the republic of china so this is a sensitive moment and uh beijing is uh you know possibly trying to send multiple messages to taiwan to us and to possibly even uk you know you send your because today if you look at the formation of the fighters and the early warning uh planes as well as the bombers and things and many experts who say they almost assemble some type of sea strike force and could be attacking surface vessels so it could be also a warning sign to uh to others countries who wants to send navies here howard help us understand taiwan a little better for people who don’t know it well is there any support on the island for being part of china or is the idea of being independent of it widely accepted the majority of taiwanese if you look at all the surveys and polls one what they call the status quo which is they want peace they just don’t want any type of a military confrontation but at the same time very fewer and fewer people there’s still some people because because of either their fathers mothers our ancestors uh came late after world war two to taiwan and uh still you know hope one day but but the majority people just hope for status quo until there’s a democratic way of solving things i think that that’s more the easiest way to describe it.