Saturday, May 18, 2024

Chinese military activity reported by Taiwan after Blinken’s Beijing visit

Must read

Taiwan has reported new Chinese military activity near the island on Saturday (Apr 27) with 12 Chinese aircraft crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait, just a day after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken left after his visit to China.

Taiwan, a self-ruled democracy, lacks formal diplomatic ties with the US, it remains America’s key international supporter and arms importer.¬†

During his visit to China, US Secretary of State Blinken emphasised the vital need for peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. This comes as China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory, ramps up military pressure on the island, a claim Taiwan vehemently rejects.

Taiwan’s defence ministry said that from 9:30 a.m. (0130 GMT) on Saturday it had detected 22 Chinese military aircraft, including Su-30 fighters, of which 12 had crossed the median line to Taiwan’s north and centre.

It is worth mentioning that the median line in the Taiwan Strait once acted as an unspoken barrier, respected by both China and Taiwan. However, China’s air force now routinely conducts flights across this line, despite denying its legitimacy.

Watch: Chinese vessels detected amid US-Philippines drills

Taiwan’s armed forces are well-equipped and well-trained but dwarfed by those of China’s, especially the navy and air force, which respond almost daily to Chinese missions.

China considers Taiwan the most important issue in its relations with the United States, and Beijing has repeatedly demanded Washington end weapons sales to Taiwan.

Taiwan President-elect Lai Ching-te takes office on May 20 after winning January’s election. Beijing considers him a dangerous separatist and has rebuffed his repeated calls for talks.

Lai said on Thursday (Apr 26) that China should have the self-assurance to talk to Taiwan’s elected government. Lai further said only Taiwan’s people can decide their future.

(With inputs from agencies)

Latest article