China's growing coercion of Taiwan increases risk of miscalculation: U.S.

06/16/2021 08:14 PM
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Image from the Ministry of National Defense website
Image from the Ministry of National Defense website

Washington, June 15 (CNA) China's growing military coercion near Taiwan has increased the risk of miscalculation, the U.S. Department of Defense said, after Beijing sent a record-high number of military aircraft into Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Tuesday.

As many as 28 Chinese military aircraft, including fighter jets, entered Taiwan's ADIZ on Tuesday. The sorties were the most reported in a single day by the MND since it began making public People's Liberation Army (PLA) incursions near Taiwan last September.

Asked to comment, Pentagon spokesperson John Supple reiterated Washington's stance that the U.S. has "an abiding interest in the peace, security, and stability of the Indo-Pacific-including in the Taiwan Strait."

"The PRC's increasing military activities conducted in the vicinity of Taiwan are destabilizing and increase the risk of miscalculation," he said.

He stressed that 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."

"In response to the growing PRC threat, we will continue deepening our unofficial security relationship to ensure Taiwan has sufficient capabilities to defend itself," he added.

The PLA's show of force came two days after the Group of Seven (G7) issued a communique following a summit, underscoring the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and encouraging the peaceful resolution of cross-strait issues. Taiwan considers the G7 leaders' statement to represent "resolute support" for the country and noted that it was the first time the summit had included a statement of support for Taiwan in its communique.

On Wednesday, China's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) spokesman Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光) said the PLA's Tuesday sorties were meant to deter "separatist activity made by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) seeking Taiwan's independence."

Concerning the G7 communique, Ma reiterated Beijing's stance in opposition to all attempts by foreign forces to interfere in China's internal affairs.

Meanwhile, in Taipei the ruling DPP condemned the PLA's continuous military coercion, saying the Taiwanese people will not be intimidated by such threats.

(By Chiang Ching-yeh, John Miu, Yeh Su-ping and Joseph Yeh)

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