The Taiwan military says it wouldn’t seek war, and nor would it avoid it as the country’s defense ministry ordered China to immediately cease its destructive unilateral actions. The ministry warned that continuous military harassment by the Chinese forces would only escalate the tensions in the Taiwan Strait and in the region.
This comes after the Taiwanese defense ministry tracked 103 PLA warplanes on Sunday. It said 40 aircraft crossed the de facto median line and entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone. The ministry also spotted two KJ-500 airborne early warning aircraft.
Moreover, nine People’s Liberation Army warplanes were seen near Taiwan. This incident is not new as China has been daily flying its warplanes to Taiwan, but on a lesser number. Sunday was a noted “high”. Last week, Beijing deployed the Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong in the Western Pacific, which coincided with the US, South Korea and Canada joint military exercise in the Yellow Sea.
Taiwan Closely Monitoring
To fend off the Chinese, Taiwan deployed warplanes and naval ships, in addition to land-based missile systems. Tensions between China and Taiwan have heightened in recent years because of the United States. Beijing regards Taiwan as part of China, but Taiwan maintains that it’s an independent sovereign country.
The US also doesn’t see Taiwan as an independent state, but opposes unilateral change and takeover by force. As such, it is Taiwan’s biggest arms supplier and last month approved a deal worth $500 million for F-16 fighter jets and infrared systems among others.
US and China Clash Over Taiwan
The South China Sea and Taiwan are two contentious issues between China and the US, among others. And if not treaded cautiously, it can turn nasty. Whatever China touches or steps upon, the United States takes it up as a genuine security concern. But US’s war cry hasn’t deterred Beijing from expanding its military presence in the South China Sea, Taiwan Strait and the Asia-Pacific region. In fact, Xi Jinping-led government has increased defense spending.
The US and China continue to exchange heated rhetoric as both nation vying for global dominance. Observers say if it comes to, Washington will side with Taiwan and go to war against China, but there’s the risk of high cost and human lives. Countries in the region want peace to be maintained and better sense to prevail.