The British-Taiwanese All-Party Parliamentary Group on Thursday expressed concern over Chinese fighter jets crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait last month, saying that the move endangered regional peace.
In a joint statement, British Member of Parliament Nigel Evans and House of Lords Deputy Speaker Dennis Rogan said that by sending fighter jets over the median line of the Taiwan Strait, China had damaged the cross-strait “status quo.”
“We are seriously concerned about the rise of tension in cross-strait relations,” the groups’ cochairs said. “It is evident that regional peace and stability is at stake.”
They said that prosperity and stability across the Taiwan Strait is “hugely important to the East Asian region and the world as a whole” and stressed that maintaining peace in the region was in the interest of all parties concerned.
“Any unilateral attempts to disrupt the status quo are harmful and do not contribute to cross-strait stability,” Evans and Rogan said.
On March 31, two J-11 fighter planes from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait southwest of Penghu County.
The Republic of China Air Force (ROCAF) scrambled several fighters to intercept the Chinese jets, which retreated to the west side of the median line after they were issued a radio warning, the Ministry of National Defense said.
ROCAF officer Wang Chun-hsiung (王純雄) said that the military has standard procedures for dealing with such incidents and would dispatch surveillance units if China’s military aircraft enter Taiwan’s air defense identification zone or cross the Strait’s median line.
The incident was part of actions by Beijing to warn President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) against taking measures that would further distance the two sides or lead to Taiwan’s independence.
Since Tsai took office in May 2016, Beijing has insisted that Tsai’s government accept the so-called “1992 consensus,” which Tsai refuses to do.
The “1992 consensus,” a term former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) in 2006 admitted making up in 2000, refers to a tacit understanding between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese government that both sides of the Strait acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.
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