MTaiwan’s Foreign Ministry reports that dozens of Chinese military aircraft enter the air defense zone for the second time in a week. Biden said earlier that Beijing is “playing with fire,” and the PRC promised any measures to prevent Taiwan from separating from the country
On Thursday, June 23, 22 aircraft of the People’s Liberation Army of China (PLA) entered the air defense zone of Taiwan, the island’s Defense Ministry reports.
They approached the island:
- two anti-submarine aircraft A-8;
- two long-range radar detection and control aircraft KJ-500;
- Y-8 electronic reconnaissance aircraft;
- ten J-16 fighters;
- five JH-7 fighter-bombers;
- two H-6 strategic bombers.
Two days earlier, on June 21, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry reported that at least 29 Chinese military aircraft entered the air defense zone.
Taiwan is located about 150km from the coast of China. In 1949, the territory declared secession from the country, but Beijing did not recognize this decision and considers the island one of the provinces of the People’s Republic of China. The Russian authorities, like the United States, support the principle of one China. The United States does not have official diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but Washington has been selling weapons to Taipei under the 1979 law on relations. At the same time, the United States maintains official relations with China.
At the end of May, US President Joe Biden said that Beijing was “playing with fire by flying close [to Taiwan] and undertaking all these maneuvers.” Although Washington adheres to the “one China policy”, this does not mean that “China has the right to use force to seize Taiwan”, he stressed and announced the readiness of the United States to defend the island in accordance with its obligations if China decides to seize it.
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In response, the Chinese Foreign Ministry protested and called Taiwan “an integral part of the territory of China”. Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said that the Chinese army will take any measures to prevent the separation of Taiwan from the country.
On June 14, Chinese President Xi Jinping authorized the use of the army for non-military operations, in order to protect China’s sovereignty, the interests of the country’s development and stability. Global Times, citing a military expert, wrote that this would allow the military to provide assistance in natural disasters, humanitarian and peacekeeping operations. However, Radio Free Asia admitted that in this way Beijing could be preparing for an invasion of Taiwan under the guise of a “special operation” that is not classified as a war.
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