The United States urged China on Sunday to stop its provocative military activities near Taiwan, after the island scrambled jets to warn away close to 100 Chinese military aircraft entering its air defence zone over a three-day period.
Taiwan, a democratically governed island that is claimed by China, has complained for more than a year of repeated missions near it by China’s air force, often in the southwestern part of its air defence zone close to the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands.
On Friday, Saturday and again on Sunday, Taiwan’s defence ministry reported that China’s air force had sent aircraft into the zone, with 39 on Saturday alone, the highest reported number to date.
The United States is very concerned by the People’s Republic of China’s provocative military activity near Taiwan, which is destabilising, risks miscalculations, and undermines regional peace and stability, State Department spokesperson Mr. Ned Price said in a statement.
We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure and coercion against Taiwan, he stated.
The United States has an abiding interest in peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and will continue to assist Taiwan in maintaining a “sufficient self-defence capability,” ,r Price added.
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, he stressed.
Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry thanked the United States for its concern, and said China was increasing tension in the Indo-Pacific region.
In the face of China’s challenges, our country’s government has always committed itself to improving our self-defence capabilities and resolutely safeguarding Taiwan’s democracy, freedom, peace and prosperity, it said.