As tensions continue to inch towards a boiling point, a Taiwanese security official said that any Chinese blockade offshore of its island would be considered an “act of war” and that it would not surrender.

China’s Blockade Will Be Considered “Act of War”

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and her administration have always maintained that they would prefer peace talks. Still, it would not let aggressors take the island easily and would defend themselves if attacked. However, the autonomous region has never specified what it considered an attack—hence the recent report by Reuters regarding a Taiwanese official’s declaration was rather unusual.

Strategists had first recognized the blockage approach on the island’s trading route in case Beijing decided to confront Taipei indirectly.

This was also previously stressed by Vice Admiral Karl Thomas last month, pointing out how China could avoid full-scale invasion, all while gripping Taiwan by its throat by blocking its import and exports.

“They have a very large navy, and if they want to bully and put ships around Taiwan, they very much can do that […] Clearly if they do something that’s non-kinetic, which, you know, a blockade is less kinetic, then that allows the international community to weigh in and to work together on how we’re going to solve that challenge,” Thomas said.

The strain between neighbors further escalated following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island in early August. To show its contention at the meeting, China conducted military exercises around the island that they repeatedly claimed, including missile firing and blockade drills. Since then, the former has continued to perform military operations off the coast of Taiwan, albeit on a smaller scale, and wonder how a skirmish with Beijing could play out for the latter and its allies—leading us to “the unusually strong and direct language” of the Taiwanese security official.