Sun, May 13, 2018 - Page 1 News List

US concerned over PRC’s moves to alter ‘status quo’

Staff writer, with CNA, WASHINGTON

A Taiwanese Indigenous Defense Fighter, right, shadows a Chinese Tu-154M electronic surveillance aircraft after the latter flew over the Bashi Channel on Friday.

Photo: AFP / Ministry of National Defense

The US Department of State on Friday again expressed concern over the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) lack of military transparency and reiterated its opposition to attempts to change the “status quo” in the Taiwan Strait, after Chinese military aircraft circled around Taiwan.

“The United States remains concerned by China’s lack of transparency about its growing military capabilities and associated strategic intentions,” a department spokesperson said in an e-mailed response to queries by Taiwanese media. “The United States opposes unilateral actions by any party aimed at altering the status quo, including any resort to force or other forms of coercion.”

The US has a deep and abiding interest in cross-strait peace and stability and encourages Taipei and Beijing to engage in constructive dialogue that pursues a peaceful resolution of differences acceptable to the people on both sides of the Strait, they added.

China has increased its military activities near Taiwan over the past year, widely seen as part of its efforts to step up pressure on the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who has refused to accept the so-called “1992 consensus.”

The “1992 consensus” — a term former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) admitted making up in 2000 — refers to a tacit understanding between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese Communist Party that both sides acknowledge that there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.

In the latest incident on Friday, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force conducted a long-range drill with aircraft circling Taiwan in opposite directions, according to information released by the Taiwanese and Chinese militaries.

Involved in the exercise were the Xian H-6K bomber, Su-35 and J-11 fighters, the Shaanxi Y-8 transport plane, the Kj-2000 early warning aircraft and Tu-154 electronic surveillance aircraft, but neither Taipei nor Beijing disclosed the number of aircraft involved.

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