Taiwan says China seeking to degrade its military and morale

Taiwan says China is seeking to take control of the island by wearing down its military capabilities and influencing public opinion

Taiwan's Defense Ministry said in a biennial report that Beijing is employing “gray zone" tactics to ratchet up pressure on the self-governing island republic which China claims as its own territory.

During China’s National Day weekend in early October, China dispatched 149 military aircraft southwest of Taiwan in strike group formations, causing Taiwan to scramble aircraft and activate its air defense missile systems.

The report said that reflects Beijing’s effort to degrade Taiwan's air force through wear and tear and heavy requirements on its personnel. It said the strategy also includes cyberwarfare, propaganda and a campaign to isolate Taiwan internationally to force it to accept China's terms without engaging in a shooting war.

China and Taiwan separated during a civil war in 1949. While the U.S. cut formal diplomatic relations with Taipei in 1979 in order to recognize Beijing, Washington is committed by law to ensure the island can defend itself and to treat all threats toward it as matters of grave concern.

While Taiwan relies on the U.S. for much of its military hardware, President Tsai Ing-wen has been pushing for a revitalization of its domestic defense industry, including the production of conventionally powered submarines.