China branded a 'hostile state' to the UK by Oakeshott
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Tensions between China and Taiwan escalated this week as Taiwanese soldiers fired warning shots at a Chinese drone for the first time. Troops on the Taiwanese-controlled island of Kinmen just off the Chinese city of Xiamen shot at the unmanned vehicle, the Army Kinmen Defence Command said. The incident raises the temperature on the edge of the South China Sea, where Beijing has conducted live-fire drills near Taiwan in recent weeks.
Taipei has warned that the wargames amount to China preparing to invade the self-governing island nation, which Beijing views as a Chinese province.
If Chinese President Xi does launch an invasion, he will be forced to rely on “crappy knock-off” weapons that are “copied from Russia”, according to an insider.
Dr John Callahan is a military adviser who has been monitoring events around Taiwan for Express.co.uk.
Dissecting China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), he said: “Their tanks are crappy knockoffs of the same tanks that the Russians are using in Ukraine.
“Their vehicles, their basic combat equipment, are knockoffs of stuff that has been proven to be ineffective.
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“They have shiny new fifth generation fighters, but their normal frontline fighters are Chinese copies of Russian gear.”
Beijing has a reputation for copying foreign weapons and reverse-engineering them for the PLA.
Most of China’s thousands of tanks are understood to be based on decades-old Russian models.
The PLA’s Type 59 and 69 tanks are very similar to the Nineteen Fifties-era T-54 tank from the Soviet Union.
Despite the two nations’ similarities in some of the military gear they use, China’s tanks were recently proven second best against their Russian counterparts.
The Chinese Type 96B tank was defeated by a Russian T-72B3 tank in the Tank Biathlon as part of the International Army Games held in Russia, which concluded at the weekend.
However, Dr Callahan, who is a dean at New England College in the US, warned against being dismissive of China’s military capabilities.
He said: “We cannot be dismissive of China because they have incredible capacity for destruction.”
Such warnings about China have continued throughout August after Beijing ramped up its hostilities towards Taiwan.
Beijing held large military exercises near its neighbour in what was interpreted as a protest at US House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan at the start of this month.
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On Tuesday, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen said: “The more the enemy provokes, the more calm we must be.
“We will not provoke disputes, and we will exercise self-restraint, but it does not mean that we will not counter.”
In his own analysis of the situation, Dr Callahan compared a potential Chinese invasion of Taiwan to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and issued a warning to western leaders.
He said: “The difference between Taiwan and Ukraine is that the Ukrainians have space to trade for time, which they are doing.
“They were not pushed out of any of the locations in the last few months, like Severodonetsk or Luhansk.
“They pulled out. They weren’t pushed out. And they have an ability to trade space for time, because they are a big country and Russian logistics are terrible.
“Taiwan does not have that luxury. And so, part of this is, is that the West’s response would need to be very quick.
“Even a fumbling bear could swallow up Taiwan, because it is small, before there was a chance to do much about it.”
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