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U.S. warns China against use of force against Taiwan

2019/04/03 12:18:13

State Department spokesman Robert Palladino / Image taken from U.S. Department of State website (state.gov)

Taipei, April 3 (CNA) The United States on Tuesday warned China against the use of force against Taiwan after Beijing had two of its fighter jets cross the median line of the Taiwan Strait on Sunday, an action Taiwan blasted as "provocative."

"The United States opposes unilateral actions by any party that are aimed at altering the status quo, including anything related to force or coercion," State Department spokesman Robert Palladino told reporters.

"Beijing should stop its coercive efforts and resume dialogue with the democratically elected administration" in Taipei, he urged.

Since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the pro-Taiwan independence Democratic Progressive Party assumed office in May 2016, Beijing has stepped up its saber rattling against Taiwan by sending jet fighters and naval ships to operate near the island.

Sunday's crossing of the median line by Chinese military aircraft, China's first intentional breach of the median line since 1999, according to Taiwan's Defense Ministry, was the latest move in Beijing's intimidation campaign.

Taiwan scrambled five jet fighters to expel the two Chinese J-11s and blasted Beijing for what it described as its "intentional" and "provocative" intimidation.

It triggered a stern protest Monday from Tsai, who warned Beijing not to attempt to unilaterally alter the status quo across the strait.

Also on Monday, U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton tweeted that "Chinese military provocations won't win any hearts or minds in Taiwan, but they will strengthen the resolve of people everywhere who value democracy. The Taiwan Relations Act and our commitment are clear."

The U.S. Department of State and Department of Defense also issued statements opposing any unilateral change of the cross-strait status quo in any form, including the use of coercive force, that could pose a threat to peace and stability in the region.

(By Flor Wang)
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