Taiwan is stocking up on natural gas and coal in anticipation of more military action from Beijing, Reuters has reported, citing a Taipei government official.
In case of a Chinese attack on the island or a blockade, Reuters wrote, the Taiwan government wanted to boost its resilience since it is almost completely dependent on imports for its energy demand.
"When it does happen, we need to be able to undertake pressure to a certain degree," Tseng Wen-Sheng, a deputy economy minister, told Reuters.
Taiwan depends on imports for some 98 percent of its energy consumption, with coal and natural gas accounting for 81.5 percent of electricity generation on the island. Nuclear provides another 9.6 percent and wind and solar contribute another 6 percent.
China has been conducting military drills around Taiwan regularly but recently stepped these up, prompting Taiwan to accuse it of a blockade and of simulating a future invasion of the island.
The situation heated up in August when U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan. Following the visit, China cut several communication channels with the U.S. and called the visit an “egregious provocation”.
This month, the chief of the U.S. Navy warned that China could attack Taiwan by the end of the year and the U.S. must be ready to respond to this attack.
“When we talk about the 2027 window, in my mind that has to be a 2022 window or potentially a 2023 window,” Admiral Mike Gilday told the Atlantic Council last week, as quoted by the FT. “I don’t mean at all to be alarmist . . . it’s just that we can’t wish that away.”
Beijing, meanwhile, has blamed the U.S. for the escalation between China and Taiwan. President Xi Jinping said this weekend that if China is compelled to attack Taiwan, it would be because of “external forces”.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com