A US State Department spokesman called on Beijing to end “military, diplomatic” coercion against Taiwan.
The United States has crushed China’s largest-ever foray into Taiwan’s air defense zone, describing it as “provocative” and “destabilizing” military activity.
US State Department spokesman Ned Price on Sunday called on Beijing to end its “military, diplomatic and economic pressure and coercion against Taiwan”.
“The United States is deeply concerned about the PRC’s provocative military activity near Taiwan, which is destabilizing, risking miscalculation and undermining regional peace and stability,” Price said in a statement.
The US urges Beijing to end its destabilizing behavior across the Taiwan Strait. https://t.co/oo7EQFT4i7
— Ned Price (@StateDeptSpox) October 3, 2021
The comment followed another record raid by 39 planes on Saturday, a day after Beijing celebrated its national holiday by buzzing the self-governed democratic island with 38 fighter jets, including nuclear-capable H-6 bombers.
Taiwan sent warplanes to repel the Chinese planes, while missile systems were deployed to guard them.
The island’s 23 million people live under the constant threat of invasion from China, which considers it its territory and has promised to conquer it someday.
Taiwanese Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang told reporters on Saturday: “China has been belligerent and damaged regional peace while being involved in many harassments.”
“It is clear that the world, the international community, is increasingly rejecting such behavior from China,” he said.
Almost daily, Chinese warplanes pass through Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).
The ADIZ is not the same as Taiwan’s territorial airspace, but covers a much larger area that overlaps with part of China’s Air Defense Identification Zone and even includes part of mainland China.
Beijing has stepped up pressure on Taipei since the election of President Tsai Ing-wen in 2016, who openly told China it must accept that “Taiwan is already independent”.
The US has pledged to “continue to assist Taiwan in maintaining adequate self-defense capabilities”.
“The US commitment to Taiwan is rock solid and helps maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and in the region,” Price said.
China has not yet commented on its activities. It has previously said such flights were to protect the country’s sovereignty and targeted “collusion” between Taiwan and the US, the island’s main international lender.