Facing down China’s threat to invade Taiwan

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As if 2020 needed to get uglier, the Chinese Communist Party is loudly threatening to invade Taiwan, its democratic and self-ruled neighbor.

Beijing has been increasing the militarization of its shores off Taiwan, upgrading its missile bases and deploying its most advanced hypersonic missile, the DF-17, to the area, the South China Morning Post reports.

The Communists believe they own Taiwan and have long threatened to take it “back” by force if provoked. Yet Beijing’s doing all the provoking here.

Since early September, China has been running near-daily military air exercises and patrols in the Taiwan Strait — some with more than 30 combat aircraft and half a dozen ships. It’s the most aggressive and blatant show of intimidation in nearly 25 years.

In response, Taipei is feverishly bolstering its defenses. And it’s getting help from Washington: On Monday, the Trump administration approved nearly $2.4 billion in arms sales, including up to 100 Boeing-made Harpoon Coastal Defense Systems and 400 Harpoon Block Surface Launched Missiles.

That follows deals last week for a total of $1.8 billion that include 135 Boeing-made air-to-ground cruise missiles, 11 Lockheed Martin truck-mounted rocket launchers and six MS-110 reconnaissance pods for Taiwan’s fighter jets.

Let’s hope Taiwan’s determination, and clear US support, gets Beijing to back down.

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