U.S. calls on Beijing to curb military coercion of Taiwan
Washington, June 21 (CNA) A U.S. government spokesperson has again called on Beijing to cease military intimidation of Taiwan after the Chinese military sent a total of 29 military aircraft into the southwestern part of Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Tuesday, the third-highest single-day total this year.
"We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure, and intimidation against Taiwan," a spokesperson of the State Department, who asked not to be named, told CNA in an email response when asked to comment on the latest incursions.
"We have an abiding interest in peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. We will continue to assist Taiwan in maintaining a sufficient self-defense capability, and we will maintain our commitments as outlined in the Taiwan Relations Act, the Three Communiqués, and the Six Assurances," the spokesperson said.
"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," the spokesperson added.
According to Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND), the aircraft that flew into Taiwan's ADIZ Tuesday included one Y-9 communications anti-jamming aircraft, one Y-8 electronic signals intelligence aircraft, six H-6 strategic bombers, two KJ-500 airborne early warning and control planes, one Y-8 anti-submarine warfare plane, one Y-20 aerial refuelling aircraft, eight Shenyang J-16 fighter jets, four Sukhoi SU-30 fighter jets and five Shenyang J-11 fighter jets.
In response, Taiwan scrambled a combat air patrol, sent radio warnings, and deployed defense missile systems to track the Chinese aircraft before they left the country's ADIZ, the MND said.
The MND has been publishing information about such flights since Sept. 17, 2020, amid a rising number of intrusions into Taiwan's ADIZ by Chinese military aircraft. The largest number of incursions in a single day was 56, recorded on Oct. 4 last year.
The highest number of incursions reported this year, meanwhile, was 39, on Jan. 23, followed by 30 on May 30, MND data showed.
An ADIZ is an area declared by a country to allow it to identify, locate and control approaching foreign aircraft. It is not part of territorial airspace as defined by international law.
According to Chieh Chung (揭仲), a defense expert and associate research fellow with the Taipei-based National Policy Foundation think tank, one thing worth noticing about Tuesday's incursions was that eight of the 29 Chinese aircraft had flown deep into Taiwan's southeastern ADIZ before head toward to the Philippine Sea.
It was a rare move made by Chinese warplanes to fly into the Philippine Sea, Chieh said, adding that he believed these aircraft were part of separate exercises conducted by a larger long-term strike group.
Meanwhile, Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said in a Twitter post on Wednesday the latest large-scale exercises by the People's Liberation Army were evidence that "authoritarian China's military threat is more serious than ever," adding there was "no way Taiwan will cave in and surrender its sovereignty and democracy to the big bully."
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