Intelligence Agencies ‘Very Concerned’ China Will Invade Taiwan: Canada’s Military Intelligence Chief

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Defence intelligence agencies were worried that Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine would embolden China to do the same with Taiwan, says the chief of Canada’s military intelligence branch, noting the West’s swift response to the conflict could deter China.

“Prior to a week ago, we were very concerned about China and in fact wondering if China would take the opportunity to accelerate their own plans for greater control of their near abroad, specifically Taiwan,” Major-General Michael Wright told the Standing Committee on National Defence (NDDN) on March 2.

The NDDN meeting was the second session the committee has held since Russia launched its attack on Ukraine on Feb 24. MPs from the four parties are studying the threats facing Canada and what capacity the country has to support Ukraine and engage in conventional warfare should the threat hit home.

In response to the invasion of Ukraine, Western nations have imposed a barrage of economic sanctions targeting Russia’s banking system, state-controlled companies, and oligarchs, with an aim to cripple the Kremlin’s ability to fund their military campaign.

Canada has moved to prohibit the imports of Russian crude oil, and announced on Feb. 28 an additional $25 million in aid to support Ukraine, along with providing two C-130J tactical airlift aircraft and a team of about 45 personnel to assist NATO efforts.

Companies in Europe, Canada, and the United States have followed suit by refusing to export Russian consumer goods. Major oil companies such as Shell also announced on Feb. 28 that it will exit all of its Russian operations, following in the footsteps of BP who said it will sell its shares in Russian state firm Rosneft.

Asked by NDP MP Lindsay Mathyssen whether the response from Western nations to the Ukrainian conflict has in any way “given China pause” in its Taiwan ambitions, Wright said Beijing should take note.

“I would hope that with the reaction of the international community, and specifically NATO and the West, that China would have pause for any of their authoritarian plans for the future,” he said.

Beijing has long considered Taiwan to be a breakaway province, despite the fact that Taiwan is a de facto independent country. Since March 2019, the Chinese regime has been ramping up military aggression in Taiwan, sending military aircraft into the island’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).

Within hours following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, the Chinese Communist Party sent nine aircraft into Taiwan’s ADIZ.

The Feb. 24 sortie marked the 13th incursion in Taiwan’s airspace in February. In a large-scale incursion in late January, the Chinese military sent 39 aircraft into Taiwan’s ADIZ in an apparent attempt to intimidate and exhaust Taiwan’s military.

Andrew Thornebrooke and Andrew Chen contributed to this report.

Isaac Teo

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Isaac Teo is an Epoch Times reporter based in Toronto.



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