China Suspected Of Damaging Taiwan’s Undersea Internet Cables

In the latest escalation of communist China’s hostility toward Taiwan, two Chinese ships are suspected of cutting two of Taiwan’s undersea internet cables — shutting off internet access for 14,000 people.

Taiwan’s National Communications Commission (NCC) has blamed China for the sabotage, which has interrupted internet services for residents of the Taiwanese island Matsu and has resulted in increased national security concerns for the island.

According to the NCC, a Chinese fishing vessel was responsible for severing the first cable approximately 31 miles off the coast, while a Chinese cargo ship was to blame for cutting a second cable just six days later on February 8.

Taiwan’s coast guard reportedly chased the Chinese fishing vessel off, sending it back into Chinese waters.

Su Tzu-Yun, a defense expert from the Institute for National Defense and Security Research, has declared China as the suspect for the sabotage.

“We can’t rule out that China destroyed these on purpose,” Tzu-Yun said. “Taiwan needs to invest more resources in repairing and protecting the cables.”

Wen Lii, the head of the Matsu chapter of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, argued that the communist country must be held accountable for its actions.

“The Chinese boats that damaged the cables should be held accountable and pay compensation for the highly expensive repairs,” Lii said.

Matsu, one of Taiwan’s islands that is located very close to China, has 14,000 residents who rely on the two cables for their internet. After the cables were cut in early February, Matsu residents struggled to connect to the internet to be able to pay bills, make appointments or engage in any service that requires an internet connection.

“A lot of tourists would cancel their booking because there’s no internet. Nowadays, the internet plays a very large role in people’s lives,” said Chen Yu-Lin, the owner of a bed and breakfast.

Meanwhile, beyond the concerns over Matsu residents’ internet access, there are major national security concerns surrounding the sabotage.

According to One America News (OAN), “Internet infrastructures are targeted in advance of an invasion in order to disrupt communications and cause confusion, as Russia had done before entering Ukraine. Experts suspect China of cutting the cables as part of its harassment campaign of the island that it considers its territory.”

The sabotage is just the latest in a campaign of intimidation from China towards the free nation of Taiwan. While Taiwan asserts its independence, China has continually insisted that the island nation be reunited under its rule.

Despite the Biden administration’s claims that they don’t officially support Taiwan’s independence, the U.S. recently increased its military presence in Taiwan. Amid constant hostility from China — including military planes and navy ships regularly being sent to the island as an intimidation tactic — the U.S. has more than quadrupled the number of American troops stationed on Taiwan, and President Joe Biden has vowed to send military aid to the island if China attacks.

Taiwan has not officially blamed China for deliberately cutting the internet cables — which have reportedly been cut 27 times in the past five years — as there is no direct evidence to back up these accusations.