U.S. Condemns China's 'Provocative' & 'Destabilizing' Military Activity Near Taiwan
Are you concerned about China’s military activities near Taiwan?
What’s the story?
- The State Dept. issued a statement Monday that condemned the People’s Republic of China’s increased military activity near Taiwan, which featured record numbers of Chinese military flights within Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ).
- Over the course of four days from Friday, October 1st to Monday, October 4th, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense reported a total of 149 Chinese military aircraft including multirole fighters, bombers, and surveillance aircraft flew through Taiwan’s ADIZ. Many countries, including the U.S., Taiwan, and PRC, have an ADIZ that is broader than the national airspace for security purposes.
- The total included 38 Chinese military flights on Friday, 39 on Saturday, 16 on Sunday, and 56 on Monday. The number of sorties on Friday, Saturday, and Monday each set a new record for most daily intrusions by Chinese military aircraft. Taiwanese officials called China’s activities “over the top” and said, “countries that wish to annex Taiwan will be deterred.”
- State Dept. Spokesperson Ned Price released a statement saying that the U.S. 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.” He added:
“We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure and coercion against Taiwan. We have an abiding interest in peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. We will continue to assist Taiwan in maintaining a sufficient self-defense capability, and we will maintain our commitments as outlined in the Three Communiqués, the Taiwan Relations Act, and the Six Assurances. 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. We will continue to stand with friends and allies to advance our shared prosperity, security, and values and deepen our ties with democratic Taiwan.”
- Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials, including General Secretary Xi Jinping, have made reunification with Taiwan a priority in what they see as an “unshakeable commitment” the China’s ascent into a position of global leadership. The CCP regards Taiwan (also known as the Republic of China or ROC) ― which is a self-governing democracy ― as a rogue province and has threatened to compel a reunion by military force across the 110 mile-wide Taiwan Strait if the ROC pursues formal independence.
- U.S. defense officials have expressed increasing concern in recent years about the growing capability of the CCP to attempt to seize Taiwan by force, with some predicting that an invasion could occur in the next six years, with or without Taiwan pursuing international recognition as its own country. While an invasion could be preceded by an increased level of Chinese military flights in Taiwan’s ADIZ, the recent flights could be saber-rattling meant to intimidate Taiwan and its allies without being a prelude to war.
- October has historically been a time of significant friction between the PRC and Taiwan. The PRC celebrates its National Day on October 1st while Taiwan celebrates its National Day on October 10th. The origins of both governments lie in the communists’ victory over the nationalists in the Chinese Civil War, which prompted the nationalists to flee to Taiwan.
- China’s recent military flights in Taiwan’s ADIZ could also be a response to recent training by the U.S. military and several allied militaries in the Western Pacific. Notably, four aircraft carriers ― including the American carriers USS Ronald Reagan and USS Carl Vinson, the British HMS Queen Elizabeth, and the Japanese JS Ise ― maneuvered along with supporting warships from allied navies over the weekend in the Philippine Sea near Taiwan, Okinawa, and the Philippine island of Luzon.
- Senate’s China Competition Bill Aims to Bolster U.S. Support for Taiwan - Are You in Favor? (6/7/21)
- Blinken Warns China Using Military Force Against Taiwan Would Be ‘Serious Mistake’ (4/12/21)
— Eric Revell
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