The United States on Oct. 3 urged the Chinese communist regime to stop its “provocative” military activities near Taiwan, after Beijing sent nearly 100 aircraft into the island’s air defense zone over a three-day period.
On Oct. 1, 2, and again on Oct. 3, Chinese military planes flew into the zone, prompting Taiwan to scramble its fighter jets to warn away the aircraft, the island’s defense ministry said. The Oct. 2 incursion, with 39 Chinese aircraft, marked the highest reported number to date.
For more than a year, the Chinese regime has been sending aircraft into Taiwan’s “air defense identification zone” in a bid to intimidate the self-governed island that it claims as its own. The most recent incursions included both daytime and nighttime sorties of fighter jets, bombers, and anti-submarine aircraft.
“The United States is very concerned by the People’s Republic of China’s provocative military activity near Taiwan, which is destabilizing, risks miscalculations, and undermines regional peace and stability,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.
“We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure and coercion against Taiwan.”
The United States has an abiding interest in peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and will continue to assist Taiwan in maintaining a “sufficient self-defense capability,” the statement said. The United States, the island’s biggest arms supplier, is obliged under the Taiwan Relations Act to provide arms to the island for its self-defense.
“The U.S. commitment to Taiwan is rock solid and contributes to the maintenance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and within the region,” Price said.
Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry thanked the United States for its “strong remarks,” adding that the regime in Beijing was increasing tension in the Indo-Pacific region.
“In the face of China’s challenges, our country’s government has always committed itself to improving our self-defense capabilities and resolutely safeguarding Taiwan’s democracy, freedom, peace, and prosperity,” it said in a statement.
By Cathy He