The US yesterday called on China to halt its “provocative” pressure on Taiwan after a record number of daily incursions by Chinese warplanes, saying the military actions are destabilizing and risk leading to “miscalculations.”
“The US commitment to Taiwan is rock solid and contributes to the maintenance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and within the region,” US Department of State spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.
The flybys close to Taiwan on Saturday extended a Chinese display of military might as the country entered a second day of celebrations of communist China’s founding.
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army on Saturday sent 39 military aircraft into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) and 38 on Friday, the Ministry of Defense wrote on Twitter.
The US “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,” Price said. “We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure and coercion against Taiwan.”
The incursions came as China began to celebrate the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
Hu Xijin (胡錫進), editor-in-chief of China’s Global Times, said Taiwan should probably expect more similar incidents.
“These warplanes appearing at Taiwan Straits on China’s National Day is a new ceremony of Chinese people to celebrate the holiday,” he wrote on Twitter. “There could be more warplanes appearing there next year on the National Day, if Taiwan authorities continue their provocation.”
The show of force comes after China’s Taiwan Affairs Office issued a denunciation of Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) on its Sina Weibo account.
China derided his efforts to strengthen Taiwan’s international relations as “shrilling and moaning,” and “the buzzing of flies.”
The statement followed Wu’s assertion, in a speech on Monday last week at the Hoover Institution in the US, that Taiwan is under constant threat from China, including gray zone tactics and information security attacks.
China has increased its diplomatic, economic and military pressure on Taiwan over the past year.
The Chinese air force made more than 500 incursions into Taiwan’s ADIZ in the first nine months of this year, compared with more than 300 a year in the past, Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) told lawmakers.
Twenty-four PLA aircraft flew into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone a week earlier, one day after Taiwan announced it had requested to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.
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