Home World News Taiwan condemns China over large incursions to its air defence zone

Taiwan condemns China over large incursions to its air defence zone

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Taiwan on Tuesday condemned China’s recent large incursions to its air defence zone, saying this had undermined regional peace.

“Taiwan has to be alert as China has been going too far,” Taiwan Premier Su Tseng-chang told reporters on the sidelines of a parliamentary meeting.

Su’s comments came one day after China sent 56 aircraft to Taiwan’s south-western Air Defence Identification Zone, marking a new record number of daily warplane sorties over Taiwan since Taiwan’s defence ministry began to issue such reports in September 2020.

China’s incursion on Monday was larger than Friday’s 38 sorties and Saturday’s 39, both representing record-high numbers. On Sunday, 16 Chinese warplanes were also spotted in Taiwan’s air defence zone.

“The world has seen that China has repeatedly undermined regional peace and has been pressing on Taiwan,” Su added.

The Mainland Affairs Council, Taiwan’s government agency on policy dealings with Beijing, late Monday urged Beijing to immediately halt such “non-peaceful and irresponsible provocative actions.”

In Washington, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said: “We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure and coercion against Taiwan.”

“And we have an abiding interest in peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” Psaki told a press briefing.

Taiwan’s relations with China have become tenser since Chinese President Xi Jinping in January 2019 called for Taiwan’s reunification with China, by force if necessary.

In an article for the Foreign Affairs magazine, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen wrote that Beijing has never abandoned its ambitions toward Taiwan.

“But after years of double-digit investment in the Chinese military, and expansionist behaviour across the Taiwan Strait and in surrounding maritime areas, Beijing is replacing its commitment to a peaceful resolution with an increasingly aggressive posture.”

Amid almost daily intrusions by the People’s Liberation Army, Tsai said that “Taiwan will not bend to pressure, but nor will it turn adventurist, even when it accumulates support from the international community.”

Tsai said, as countries increasingly recognize the threat that the Chinese Communist Party poses, “they should remember that if Taiwan were to fall, the consequences would be catastrophic for regional peace and the democratic alliance system. It would signal that in today’s global contest of values, authoritarianism has the upper hand over democracy,” Tsai wrote.

Taiwan’s Ministry of National Affairs said on Tuesday that the number of sorties by China has increased rapidly from 10 in 2019 to 380 in 2020. As of Tuesday, more than 600 sorties were observed this year so far.

Many of the Chinese intrusions have been carried out when Taiwan was more in the international spotlight, for example when US and European officials visited the country last year, and shortly after a G7 statement on Taiwan and China.

The recent spate of incursions started on Friday, when China celebrated its National Day.

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