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Taiwan Raises Concerns about Chinese Military Activity Following Blinken’s Departure from Beijing

Taiwan Raises Concerns about Chinese Military Activity Following Blinken’s Departure from Beijing

Taiwan reported that there has been renewed Chinese military activity near the island, with 12 aircraft crossing the sensitive median line of the Taiwan Strait. This comes just a day after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken concluded his visit to China. Blinken had emphasized the importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait during his visit.

Taiwan, a democratic nation, has been facing increased military pressure from China, which claims the island as its own territory. However, Taiwan’s government rejects these claims and considers itself a separate entity. The United States has been a crucial supporter of Taiwan, providing both diplomatic support and arms, despite not having formal diplomatic ties with the island.

Taiwan’s defense ministry reported that on Saturday morning, they detected a total of 22 Chinese military aircraft, including Su-30 fighters. Out of these, 12 aircraft crossed the median line to Taiwan’s north and center. The median line was once an unofficial border between the two sides, over which neither side’s military crossed. However, China’s air force now regularly sends aircraft over it, claiming that it does not recognize the line’s existence.

The defense ministry also mentioned that these aircraft were involved in “joint combat readiness patrols” with Chinese warships. Taiwanese aircraft and ships responded appropriately but did not disclose further details. On the other hand, China’s defense ministry did not comment on the situation.

While Taiwan’s armed forces are well-equipped and well-trained, they are significantly smaller compared to China’s military capabilities, especially in terms of navy and air force. China conducts missions near Taiwan almost daily.

China considers Taiwan to be the most important issue in its relations with the United States and has repeatedly demanded that Washington halt weapons sales to Taiwan. In May, Taiwan will have a new president as Lai Ching-te takes office after winning January’s election. However, Beijing considers Lai a dangerous separatist and has rejected his calls for talks.

Lai has expressed that China should have the confidence to engage in dialogue with Taiwan’s legally elected government. Similar to outgoing President Tsai Ing-wen, Lai believes that only Taiwan’s people can decide their own future.

The recent Chinese military activity near Taiwan raises concerns about the escalating tensions between the two sides. As the United States continues to support Taiwan and emphasize the importance of maintaining peace, it remains to be seen how China will respond to these calls. The situation in the Taiwan Strait remains a critical point of contention in the complex relationship between China, the United States, and Taiwan.

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