Taiwan prepares for possible conflict with China amid unprovoked invasion of Ukraine

Emily Macaulay, Staff Writer

Last Wednesday, Taiwan’s National Communications Commission launched an investigation against the Taipei-based Chinese Television System (CTS) after airing several false reports of a Chinese invasion.

“New Taipei City has been hit by missiles from the communist military; Taipei port has exploded, facilities and ships have been damaged,” the broadcast erroneously claimed. “It is suspected that enemy agents have arsonized and planted explosives at Banqiao train station.”

CTS has since issued a public apology and “punished relevant personnel, supervisors and managers for dereliction of duty” in relation to the incident, though according to the commission, may be fined up to 2 million NTD (US $68,530) for disturbing public order.

Despite being nothing more than a hoax, these false reports are not entirely fictitious, and reflect growing concerns over a potential invasion of the small island country. For over 70 years, long before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Chinese Communist Party has repeatedly vowed to annex Taiwan by any means necessary, even by force. 

“People should not underestimate Chinese people’s determination to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” said Chinese President Xi Jinping during a press conference last year. “The task of complete reunification of China must be achieved, and it will definitely be achieved.”

In response, Taiwan has bolstered their potential warfare capabilities to record numbers. With 160,000 active personnel in their armed forces, less than one-tenth the size of Beijing’s People’s Liberation Army, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen encourages all eligible citizens to enlist in the reserve forces.

“The recent situation in Ukraine proves that, in addition to international support and assistance, it boils down to the unity of our people to safeguard our country,” Tsai told CNN News last month. “This training mission implements the spirit of all-out defense. Every reservist … has to assume that war could happen in their hometowns.”