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Blinken Leaves Beijing, Taiwan Reports Chinese Military Activity



FILE PHOTO: Solider miniatures are seen in front of displayed Chinese and Taiwanese flags in this illustration taken, April 11, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File photo

(CTN News) – In the days following the end of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to China, Taiwan reported renewed Chinese military activity near the island, with 12 aircraft crossing the sensitive median line of the Taiwan Strait.

In spite of the absence of formal diplomatic ties between the United States and Taiwan, the United States remains Taiwan’s largest source of international support and arms supply. When he was in China, Blinken said he had stressed the importance of maintaining peace and stability across the strait, and that he had emphasized this to the Chinese government.

Taiwan, a democratically governed island, is under increased military pressure from China, which views the island as its own territory and considers it a part of its territory. Government denies those claims.

In a statement released by the defence ministry on Saturday, it stated that from 9:30 a.m. (0130 GMT) on Saturday, 22 Chinese military aircraft, including Su-30 fighters, had been detected flying north and center. Of these, 12 crossed the median line into territory.

In the past, the line served as an unofficial border between the two sides, which neither military crossed. However, in recent years, China’s air force has been regularly sending aircraft over the line in order to conduct operations. As far as China is concerned, the line does not exist and it is not recognised by the country.

In a statement issued by the Taiwanese defense ministry,

It has confirmed that two aircraft were conducting joint combat readiness patrols together with Chinese warships, adding that Taiwanese aircraft and ships responded in an appropriate manner to the situation. There are no details provided in the report about what happened in this case.

There was no response to calls seeking comment from China’s defence ministry outside office hours on Saturday.

The armed forces of Taiwan are well-equipped and well-trained, but they are dwarfed by those of China, especially when considering the navy and air force, which are almost always called upon to respond to Chinese missions almost on a daily basis.

A well-known fact is that China considers Taiwan to be the most important issue in its relations with the United States, and Beijing has repeatedly called on Washington to stop selling weapons to Taiwan.

The President-elect, Lai Ching-te, takes office on May 20, following his election victory in January. It is his repeated calls for talks that have been rebuffed by Beijing, who considers him to be a dangerous separatist.

On Thursday, Lai expressed his belief that China must be able to talk freely with Taiwan’s legally elected government if it has a confidence to do so. It is only people who can decide the future of their country, according to Lai, just as outgoing President Tsai Ing-wen.


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