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Multiple Chinese aircraft flew across the midline of the Taiwan Strait and into Taiwan’s air defence identification zone on Friday and Saturday. This caused Taiwan to respond by scrambling jets to intercept but the Communist regime claims they were military exercises.
Speaking during a news conference this morning, President Tsai Ing-wen denounced China’s drills.
She said: “I believe these activities are no help to China’s international image, and what’s more have put Taiwan’s people even more on their guard, understanding even better the true nature of the Chinese Communist regime.
“Additionally, other countries in the region also have a better understanding of the threat posed by China.
“The Chinese Communists must restrain themselves, and not provoke.”
President Tsai was also asked about footage released by China’s air force yesterday.
The force put out a video showing exercises by its nuclear-capable H-6 bombers, which have been involved in many Chinese fly-bys of Taiwan.
One montage shows a simulation of an H-6 attack against an airbase that appears by its runway layout to be the main US air force base on Guam.
Responding, President Tsai said China’s recent activities were a threat broader than just to Taiwan.
She added: “China’s existence is indeed aggressive and will bring a definite threat.”
The exercises took place as US Undersecretary for Economic Affairs Keith Krach was in Taipei, the most senior State Department officials to come in four decades.
Wang Mei-Hua, Taiwan Economy Minister also said today the island plans to hold a formal economic dialogue with the United States, after having what she called informal talks with Krach and his team on issues like supply chain restructuring.
When asked by journalists about the military exercise during a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson press conference, Beijing said it was justifiable and necessary action taken in response to the current situation across the Taiwan Strait.
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Spokesperson Weng Wenbin added: “Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory, and the Taiwan question is purely China’s internal affair which allows no foreign interference.
“Any attempt to contain China with the Taiwan question or solicit foreign support will lead nowhere.
“China has the firm will, full confidence and sufficient capability to foil any interference by external forces and the secessionist acts of ‘Taiwan independence’ forces and resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Wang Yang, who heads a largely ceremonial advisory body to China’s parliament and is the number-four leader of the ruling Communist Party on Sunday did not directly mention the recent drills
But he reiterated that Taiwan independence was a dead end, and that “relying on foreigners to pump yourself up was to take a risk out of desperation”.
“It will only bring Taiwan risks it cannot bear. We will not tolerate any harm to the country’s sovereignty, security and development interests,” Wang said in comments made by video.
Further friction seems likely as Taiwan and the United States continue to deepen relations, with Taiwan angling for a free trade agreement.
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