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Updated on: Tuesday, October 05, 2021, 11:26 PM IST

Beijing’s activities near Taiwan provocative & destabilising: US

PTI
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Washington:

Declaring that America's commitment to Taiwan was "rock-solid", the US has told China that it will continue to watch very closely the "provocative" and "destabilising" Chinese military activities near the self-ruled island.

Taiwan's Defence Ministry said 56 Chinese warplanes made incursions into its air defence identification zone on Monday, the highest number since the island began publicly reporting such activities last year.

China views Taiwan as a breakaway province. However, democratic Taiwan sees itself as a sovereign state. Beijing has not ruled out the possible use of force to achieve unification with Taiwan.

Responding to questions on the issue of Chinese warplanes frequently entering Taiwan's air defence zone, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at her daily news conference on Monday that, "We remain concerned by the People's Republic of China's provocative military activity near Taiwan, which is destabilising risk miscalculations and undermines regional peace and stability." "We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure and coercion against Taiwan, and we have an abiding interest in peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait," she said.

"That's why we will continue to assist Taiwan in maintaining a sufficient self-defence capability. We maintain our commitments, as outlined in the three communiques, Taiwan Relations Act, and the Six Assurances," she said.

America's commitment to Taiwan is "rock-solid and contributes to the maintenance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and within the region," Psaki said.

"We have been clear, privately and publicly, about our concern about the PRC's pressure and coercion toward Taiwan, and we will continue to watch the situation very closely," she said.

Meanwhile, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price told reporters that the US is very concerned by China's provocative military activity near Taiwan.

"This activity is destabilising. It risks miscalculations and undermines regional peace and stability. We strongly urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure and coercion against Taiwan," he said.

"Our commitment to Taiwan is rock solid. It contributes to the maintenance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and within the region, and we'll continue to stand with friends and allies to advance our shared prosperity, security, and values. We will do that as we continue to deepen our ties with Taiwan," Price said.

Some analysts say the increased military flights could be seen as a warning to Taiwan's president Tsai Ing-wen ahead of the island's National Day on October 10.

China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded to the US statement by criticising what it described as "irresponsible remarks." "The relevant remarks from the United States have seriously undermined the One-China Principle," ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying was quoted as saying in a press release on Monday night.

"In recent times, the United States has continued its negative actions in selling weapons to Taiwan and boosting its official military ties between the United States and Taiwan," she said.

"These provocative actions have damaged Sino-US relations and damaged regional peace and stability. China firmly opposes this and takes necessary countermeasures." Meanwhile, in a separate statement, Senator Marco Rubio said 145 Chinese warplanes have flown into or near Taiwan's air defence identification zone since Friday.

These military incursions occurred just days before Taiwan's National Day and began on the People's Republic of China's National Day.

"The Chinese Communist Party's aggressive behaviour is intended to intimidate Taiwan and send a message to the rest of the free world," Rubio, a Republican, said.

"If Beijing's recklessness is not met with international condemnation, (Chinese President) Xi Jinping will think he has a green light for further aggression. President Joe Biden must work with our allies to ensure the People's Republic of China respects the status quo and the sovereign territory of Taiwan and its neighbours," he said.

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Published on: Tuesday, October 05, 2021, 11:26 PM IST
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