Taiwan is stocking up on natural gas and coal in anticipation of further military action from Beijing, Reuters reported, citing a Taipei government official.
In the event of a Chinese attack on the island or a blockade, Reuters wrote, the Taiwanese government wanted to build resilience as it relies almost entirely on imports for its energy demand.
“When that happens, we have to be able to exert some pressure,” Tseng Wen-Sheng, deputy economy minister, told Reuters.
Taiwan depends on imports for around 98% of its energy consumption, with coal and natural gas accounting for 81.5% of the island’s electricity generation. Nuclear provides an additional 9.6% and wind and solar contribute an additional 6%.
China regularly conducts military exercises around Taiwan, but recently intensified them, prompting Taiwan to accuse it of a blockade and simulating a future invasion of the island.
The situation heated up in August when US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan. After the visit, China cut off several communication channels with the United States and called the visit a “blatant provocation.”
This month, the chief of the US Navy warned that China could attack Taiwan by the end of the year and that the United States must be ready to respond to this attack.
“When we talk about the 2027 window, in my mind it 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 want to be alarmist at all. . . it’s just that we can’t wish for that.
Beijing, meanwhile, blamed the United States for the escalation between China and Taiwan. President Xi Jinping said over the weekend that if China was forced to attack Taiwan, it would be because of “external forces”.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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