After Taiwan scrambled jets to warn away nearly 100 Chinese military aircraft entering its air defence zone over a three-day period, the US urged China to stop its “provocative” military activities near the island.
Taiwan, a democratically governed island claimed by China, has complained for more than a year about Chinese air force missions near it, often in the southwestern part of its air defense zone, close to Taiwan’s Pratas Islands.
Taiwan’s defence ministry said that China’s air force had dispatched aircraft into the zone on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, with 39 on Saturday alone being the largest recorded number to date.
“The United States is very concerned by the People’s Republic of China’s provocative military action near Taiwan, which is destabilizing, risks miscalculations, and jeopardizes regional peace and security,” said State Department spokesman Ned Price in a statement.
“We call on Beijing to stop putting military, diplomatic, and economic pressure on Taiwan.”
The US has a long-term interest in maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and Price stated that the US will continue to help Taiwan in retaining a “adequate self-defense capability.”
“The United States’ commitment to Taiwan is unwavering, and it helps to maintain peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and across the region.”
Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry expressed gratitude to the US for their concern and stated that China was raising tensions in the Indo-Pacific area.
“Our country’s administration has always dedicated itself to developing our self-defence capabilities and steadfastly preserving Taiwan’s democracy, freedom, peace, and prosperity in the face of China’s threats,” it added.
China has yet to respond to the missions, and it is unclear what prompted Beijing to launch them, despite the fact that Friday was the country’s National Day, a patriotic celebration commemorating the foundation of the People’s Republic.
It has previously stated that such flights are necessary to defend Taiwan’s sovereignty and to combat “collusion” between Taiwan and the US, the island’s most significant foreign ally.
Taiwan’s defense ministry claimed it dispatched combat aircraft to warn Chinese planes away, as well as missile systems to keep an eye on them.
The planes were a combination of J-16 and Su-30 fighters, as well as anti-submarine and early warning aircraft, according to the report. The H-6 bombers, which are nuclear-capable, flew on Friday.
On Saturday, Taiwanese Premier Su Tseng-chang denounced China’s activities, claiming the nation was engaging in military aggression and jeopardizing regional stability.
Next Sunday, Taiwan celebrates its national day with a significant address by President Tsai Ing-wen and a military parade in central Taipei, which will include a fighter aircraft flyover.
China has increased military and political pressure on Taiwan in an attempt to compel it to acknowledge Chinese sovereignty.
Taiwan asserts that it is a sovereign nation that will protect its independence and democracy.