Saturday, July 13, 2024

Taiwan Concerned About Increased Chinese Incursions As ‘Pro Separatist’ Lai Is Made President

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Taiwan has reported an increase in Chinese incursions this past month. According to a tweet by Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence on April 30 on X, “7 PLA aircraft and 7 PLAN vessels operating around Taiwan were detected up until 6 a.m. (UTC+8) today. 5 of the aircraft crossed the median line and entered Taiwan’s southwestern ADIZ. #ROCArmedForces have monitored the situation and employed appropriate forces to respond.”

Taipei had expected a surge in Chinese military exercises as security officials stated that Beijing has usually begun such drills in June. According to Taiwan National Security Bureau Director-General Tsai Ming-yen said maintaining stability in the Taiwan Strait was in the interests of everyone in the international community, including China.

“What needs special attention is that following May 20, from June to November, is when the Chinese Communists hold their regular military drills,” he said. “Whether the Chinese Communists use this hot season as an excuse to carry out some military drills to further pressure Taiwan is a key point the National Security Bureau is focusing on.”

The inauguration of President-elect Lai Ching-te this month is another factor for Beijing as China often voiced the view that it sees Lai as a “dangerous separatist.”  An NHK World report quoted Lai as urging to hold talks with his “legally elected government,” saying that was the “right way” for cross-strait exchange. China which views Taiwan as a part of China has so far ignored Lai’s outreach.

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Since his January election victory, China has kept up a steady stream of pressure on Taiwan, including coast guard patrols near a group of Taiwanese-controlled islands that sit next to the Chinese coast, and opening new air routes in the Taiwan Strait that Taipei says threaten aviation safety.

President Xi and China have also wooed the Kuomintang, a major pro-China political party in Taiwan. On April 10, Chinese President Xi Jinping met with former President Ma Ying-jeou in Beijing who is seen as pro-China.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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