Taipei has been claiming that Beijing is seeking the “elimination” of the self-governing island’s leadership through force Taiwan’s vice president Hsiao Bi-khim © Getty Images / Sawayasu Tsuji

Taipei is studying the tactics being employed by the Ukrainian military against Russia in its preparations for a potential attack, the self-governing island’s new vice president, Hsiao Bi-khim, has said.

Her comments come as Taiwanese President Lai Ching-te has been voicing concerns that Beijing, which sees Taiwan as an inalienable part of its territory, has allegedly outlined the island’s “annexation and the elimination of the Republic of China (Taiwan) as the great rejuvenating cause of its people,” suggesting that the mainland would stop at nothing to take control of the island.

Speaking at an event hosted by Chatham House, a British think-tank, in London on Tuesday, Bi-khim insisted that Taiwan must reform and decentralize its military command structure, adding that the government is actively “learning from Ukraine’s defense, where smaller combat forces have proven nimble and adaptable.”

The vice president, who was elected last month, further claimed that “authoritarian regimes” were seeking to “influence and destabilize other nations through hybrid operations such as political warfare, cyber-intrusion, economic coercion and the threat of military force.”

Xi claimed US tried to provoke Beijing into Taiwan attack – FT Xi claimed US tried to provoke Beijing into Taiwan attack – FT

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Xi claimed US tried to provoke Beijing into Taiwan attack – FT

In light of this supposed threat, Bi-khim stated that the Taiwanese government has already taken a number of steps to boost its ability to react in the event of an attack. These include the doubling of the island’s defense budget, extending mandatory military service from four months to a year, the prioritization of new arms acquisitions, and other measures, some of which have been inspired by Ukraine, she said.

At the same time, despite the geopolitical tensions, the vice president also suggested the possibility of enabling commercial partnerships with the mainland, stating that Taipei has “an interest in working with people across the Taiwan Strait in forging a stable environment in which people can pursue prosperity.”

Meanwhile, Beijing has denounced Taiwan’s new government, branding its new president a “dangerous separatist” and launching military exercises around the island following Lai’s inauguration last month.

The Chinese government has continued to insist that it “remains committed to peaceful reunification” but has warned that such a prospect is “increasingly being eroded by separatists for Taiwan’s independence and foreign forces,” according to Chinese Defense Minister Dong Jun.

Taiwan has been self-governing since 1949, when nationalists fled the mainland with US help after losing the Chinese Civil War to the communists. However, the island is currently recognized as a sovereign nation by only 12 of the world’s 193 countries, while others, including the US, adhere to the so-called One-China policy, which indicates the Beijing government as the sole ruling authority over Chinese territories. (RT)