China sends 77 warplanes into Taiwan airspace, prompting US statement
China sent 77 warplanes into Taiwan airspace on the weekend, promising to “crush” the country and prompting US action.
China’s move to send 77 warplanes over Taiwan’s air defence zone has been labelled as “military aggression” with concern over the show of force.
Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense reported on Friday that China entered its air space with 38 aircraft, while 39 flew into their skies yesterday.
The fleet included 26 J-16 fighter jets, 10 Su-30 fighter jets, two Y-8 anti-submarine warning aircraft and one KJ-500 airborne early warning and control plane.
Taiwan, north of the Philippines, reported the flood of aircraft entered the island’s air defence zone near the Pratas Islands.
The latest move has beaten the previous record for Chinese incursions on air space – which was 28.
The democratically-run island issued radio warnings to the aircraft and deployed air defence missile systems.
Taiwan Premier Su Tseng-chang blasted the move to enter their airspace: “China has been wantonly engaged in military aggression, damaging regional peace.”
The US department of state issued a statement saying it will continue to support Taiwan.
“The United States is very concerned by the People’s Republic of China’s provocative military activity near Taiwan, which is destabilising, risks miscalculations, and undermines regional peace and stability. We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure and coercion against Taiwan,” it said.
“The US commitment to Taiwan is rock solid and contributes to the maintenance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and within the region.”
In a story published on Chinese run state media, The Global Times, China noted its move to show force.
“They (Taiwan) have thus turned themselves into a block that the Chinese mainland must get rid of strategically and an evil force the mainland must crush,” it said.
It comes as China this weekend celebrated the anniversary of the founding of the People‘s Republic of China.
For more than seven decades Taiwan and mainland China have been governed separately – but Beijing still views Taiwan as part of its territory.
Taiwan sees itself as a sovereign state, but China sees democratic Taiwan as a breakaway province.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has refused to rule out military force to capture Taiwan if necessary.
The communist nation had previously said it conducted similar flights to fight “collusion” between the United States and Taiwan.
On June, 28 Chinese aircraft had entered Taiwan‘s air space just a day after the government attacked Taiwan’s foreign minister for attempting to promote Taiwan internationally.
It comes days after Taiwan asked Australia to share international secrets with them about the people’s republic.
“We would like to engage in security or intelligence exchanges with other like-minded partners, Australia included, so Taiwan is better prepared to deal with the war situation,”
Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told the ABC.
“And so far, our relations with Australia [are] very good and that is what we appreciate.”