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Chinese Coast Guard could harass Taiwan soon: analyst

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Taipei [Taiwan], March 14 (ANI): Chinese Coast Guard vessels could soon join the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) warplanes in harassing Taiwan now that China’s Coast Guard Law is in effect, a Taiwanese analyst said.

“Chances are the harassment by Chinese Coast Guard assets will be more serious than that of Chinese military planes,” Focus Taiwan quoted Su Tzu-yun, a senior analyst at the government-funded Institute for National Defense and Security Research, as saying.

That’s because “Coast Guard ships operate with more flexibility due to their supposed civilian nature” and can carry out “gray zone” tactics, which refer to moves by a state to achieve its objectives but that are less likely to cause a military conflict, Su warned.

Last month, China implemented a new law that allows Beijing’s quasi-military force to use weapons against foreign ships that Beijing sees as illegally entering its waters.

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Implemented on February 1, the law explicitly allows the Chinese coast guard to use weapons against foreign ships it sees as illegally entering China’s waters. Chinese coast guard vessels have been spotted near the uninhabited islets since the law took effect, Kyodo News reported.

Beijing claims full sovereignty over Taiwan, a democracy of almost 24 million people located off the southeastern coast of mainland China, despite the fact that the two sides have been governed separately for more than seven decades.

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Taipei, on the other hand, has countered the Chinese aggression by increasing strategic ties with democracies including the US, which has been repeatedly opposed by Beijing.

In recent months, China has increased its military activities around Taiwan. According to China, it is responding to what it calls “collusion” between Taipei and Washington, Taiwan’s main international backer and weapons supplier, according to CNN. (ANI)

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