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Chinese bombers cross through Miyako Strait, provoking Taiwan

Chinese bombers cross through Miyako Strait, provoking Taiwan

Posted April. 04, 2019 08:01,   

Updated April. 04, 2019 08:01


Two Chinese H-6 jet bombers and one H-9 reconnaissance plane crossed through the Strait of Miyako east of Taiwan on Monday, putting a strain on the Taiwanese military. The Ministry of National Defense of Taiwan says it has remained alert and prepared to respond to any threats posed by China. A day before that, two Chinese J-11 fighter jets unprecedentedly passed through the median line of the Taiwan Strait west of Taiwan, forcing Taiwan to scramble jets. Seven Chinese military aircraft crossed the Miyako Strait on Saturday as well.

For three days in a row, Chinese military aircraft crossed into Taiwan’s airspace, encircling the country. China said it is a warning against the U.S. strengthening its military cooperation with Taiwan. “It is a solemn warning against the U.S. warships passing through the Taiwan Strait for three times this year and the U.S. signing an arms deal with Taiwan,” said People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of China’s ruling Communist Party. “The U.S. presence in the Taiwan Strait will reduce gradually.”

The White House, the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of State all condemned China for sending warplanes into Taiwanese airspace. U.S. national security adviser John Bolton said Chinese military provocation “will strengthen the resolve of people everywhere who value democracy.” The U.S. State Department rebuked China by saying, “stop its coercive efforts.”

China’s incursions into Taiwanese airspace are the result of increasing military tension between the U.S. and China over Taiwan. Chinese military experts view that Taiwan is the most likely place of a military conflict between the U.S. and China.

Chinese President Xi Jinping renewed his push for “one country, two systems” type reunification with Taiwan this year. At his official Taiwan-related event in January, he said he would “not rule out the use of force” for reunification with Taiwan. Xi also said he would not tolerate any outside interference, targeting the U.S. China is focusing on threatening Taiwan with military force and weakening the U.S.’ military presence in the region.

Wan-Jun Yun zeitung@donga.com