U.S. voices concern over China's incursions into Taiwan's ADIZ

10/05/2021 12:29 PM
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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki. Image from the White House
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki. Image from the White House's Facebook Page

Washington/Taipei, Oct. 5 (CNA) The White House has called out China's "provocative military activity" near Taiwan following its recent deployment of a record number of military aircraft in Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ).

"We remain concerned by the People's Republic of China's provocative military activity near Taiwan, which is destabilizing, risk miscalculations and undermines regional peace and stability," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said at a news briefing when asked to comment on the issue.

She urged Beijing to cease all kinds of pressure and coercion against Taiwan, and said the United States has an abiding interest in peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and therefore will continue to assist Taiwan in maintaining a sufficient self-defense capability.

Though President Joe Biden has not expressed his government's concern over the issue to China directly, Psaki said high-level officials in Washington who are in constant communication with Beijing have conveyed the U.S.' concern through diplomatic channels.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price echoed Psaki during a separate briefing, saying that the U.S. "strongly urged" Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure and coercion against Taiwan.

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also weighed in, saying in a tweet with an article on the Chinese warplanes' recent incursions that the U.S. must always stand with Taiwan.

A total of 56 Chinese military aircraft flew into Taiwan's ADIZ in two separate sorties on Monday, the most in a single day since Taiwan began issuing tallies of such actions in September 2020, according to Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense.

Between Oct. 1 and Oct. 4, a total of 149 Chinese aircraft entered Taiwan's ADIZ: 38 on Oct. 1, 39 on Oct. 2, 16 on Oct. 3, and 56 on Oct. 4.

Asked to comment, Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) said on Tuesday in Taipei that the recent military maneuvers near Taiwan's ADIZ have indeed put "huge pressure" on the country's Navy and Air Force.

He thanked the U.S. for its concern over Beijing's proactive moves but said it was Taiwan's job to defend itself, and that it could not rely on the help of other countries.

Lin Ying-yu (林穎佑), an assistant professor at National Sun Yat-sen University, said he suspected the Chinese deployments were aimed at raising pressure on Taiwan and displaying China's military might to neighboring countries as well as the U.S. and the United Kingdom.

The record high number of incursions on Monday coincided with a Twitter message posted by the commander of the U.K. Carrier Strike Group earlier that day.

It said a fleet led by the U.K. HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier had passed from the Philippine Sea through the Luzon Strait in preparation for an exercise with the Singapore Navy in the South China Sea.

On Oct. 2 and 3, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force joined the HMS Queen Elizabeth, the USS Carl Vinson, and the USS Ronald Reagan for an exercise in waters southwest of Okinawa along with warships dispatched by the Netherlands, Canada and New Zealand.

(By Stacy Hsu, Matt Yu, Lin Yu-hsuan and Joseph Yeh)

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