Taiwan urged Beijing to stop “irresponsible provocative actions” after 56 Chinese warplanes entered its air defense area on Monday.
The Defense Ministry said it scrambled planes to broadcast warnings after 36 fighter jets, 12 H-6 nuclear-capable bombers and four other aircraft entered the Southwest Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).
The ministry said four more fighter jets entered the area in a single night flight, bringing the total to 56 aircraft.
Taiwan’s top China policy-making body, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), has accused Beijing of “seriously damaging the status quo of peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits”.
“We call on the Beijing authorities to immediately stop their irresponsible and irresponsible provocative actions,” MAC spokesman Chiu Chui-cheng said in a statement.
“China (Taiwan) is the culprit for causing tensions between the two sides of the strait and has further jeopardized regional security and order,” he said, adding that Taiwan “will never compromise and succumb to threats.” “.
ADIZ is not the same as Taiwan’s territorial airspace, but covers a large area that overlaps with part of China’s own air defense identification zone and even includes some of the mainland.
Self-governing democratic Taiwan remains under constant threat of invasion by China, which sees the island as its own territory and has vowed to one day seize it by force if necessary.
Over the past two years Beijing has begun sending large flights into Taiwan’s defense sector to signal discontent at critical moments – and to keep Taipei’s old fighter fleet under regular strain.
About 150 Chinese warplanes had breached Taiwan’s ADIZ since Friday, when Beijing marked its national day with its biggest ever aerial display, buzzing the island with 38 planes.
This was followed by another infiltration by 39 planes on Saturday, which Washington criticized.
“The United States is deeply concerned by the provocative military activity of the People’s Republic of China near Taiwan, which is destabilizing, miscalculating and causing regional peace and stability,” US State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement on Sunday. weakens it.”
“We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic and economic pressure and coercion against Taiwan.”
turn up the heat
China’s foreign ministry hit back on Monday, accusing Washington of sending “an extremely false and irresponsible signal” with “provocative” actions such as selling arms to Taipei and sending its warships to the Taiwan Strait.
Spokesperson Hua Chunying said, “The US must rectify its mistakes, faithfully adhere to the ‘One China Principle’ … handle the Taiwan issue intelligently and appropriately, protect the ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist forces.” Must stop.”
Beijing has increased pressure on Taiwan since the 2016 election of President Tsai Ing-wen, who rejected his stance of Taiwan being part of “one China”.
Under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, Chinese warplanes are entering Taiwan’s ADIZ at an unprecedented speed.
A record 380 Chinese military jets infiltrated Taiwan’s defense sector last year, and the number has already risen to more than 600 by early October this year.
Last week 24 Chinese warplanes flew over the region after Taiwan applied to join a major trans-Pacific trade deal, a move Beijing opposed.
Friday’s force majeure came the same week that China accused Britain of paying “bad attention” when it sent a frigate to pass through the Taiwan Strait, which Beijing claims as its waterway.
Xi described Taiwan becoming part of the mainland as “inevitable”.
US military officials have begun talking openly about fears that China may consider an invasion unthinkable at first.
Monday’s incursion was “a way for Beijing to tell Washington that it will not submit to US warnings, that it, not Washington, sets the rules in this part of the world,” said Jay Michael Cole, a Taipei-based analyst. Said Taiwan Studies Program of the University of Nottingham.
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