US Condemns ‘Provocative’ Chinese Military Flights Near Taiwan

By Cathy He
Cathy He
Cathy He
CHINA EDITOR
Cathy He is a New York-based reporter focusing on China-related topics. She previously worked as a government lawyer in Australia. She joined the Epoch Times in February 2018.
October 3, 2021 Updated: October 3, 2021

The United States on Oct. 3 urged the Chinese communist regime to stop its “provocative” military activities near Taiwan, after Beijing sent nearly 100 aircraft into the island’s air defense zone over a three-day period.

On Oct. 1, 2, and again on Oct. 3, Chinese military planes flew into the zone, prompting Taiwan to scramble its fighter jets to warn away the aircraft, the island’s defense ministry said. The Oct. 2 incursion, with 39 Chinese aircraft, marked the highest reported number to date.

For more than a year, the Chinese regime has been sending aircraft into Taiwan’s “air defense identification zone” in a bid to intimidate the self-governed island that it claims as its own. The most recent incursions included both daytime and nighttime sorties of fighter jets, bombers, and anti-submarine aircraft.

“The United States is very concerned by the People’s Republic of China’s provocative military activity near Taiwan, which is destabilizing, risks miscalculations, and undermines regional peace and stability,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.

“We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure and coercion against Taiwan.”

The United States has an abiding interest in peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and will continue to assist Taiwan in maintaining a “sufficient self-defense capability,” the statement said. The United States, the island’s biggest arms supplier, is obliged under the Taiwan Relations Act to provide arms to the island for its self-defense.

“The U.S. commitment to Taiwan is rock solid and contributes to the maintenance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and within the region,” Price said.

Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry thanked the United States for its “strong remarks,” adding that the regime in Beijing was increasing tension in the Indo-Pacific region.

“In the face of China’s challenges, our country’s government has always committed itself to improving our self-defense capabilities and resolutely safeguarding Taiwan’s democracy, freedom, peace, and prosperity,” it said in a statement.

The Chinese regime has yet to comment on the military activities. The sorties on Oct. 1 coincided with the country’s National Day, a holiday marking the Communist Party’s takeover of China.

Taiwan’s defense ministry said it sent combat aircraft to warn away the Chinese aircraft, while missile systems were deployed to monitor them.

It said the aircraft were a mixture of J-16 and Su-30 fighters as well as anti-submarine and early warning aircraft. Oct. 1 flights included nuclear-capable H-6 bombers.

Taiwan Premier Su Tseng-chang condemned China for its actions on Oct. 2, saying the country was engaging in military aggression and damaging regional peace.

Taiwan marks its national day on Oct. 10, with a major speech planned by President Tsai Ing-wen and a military parade in central Taipei, which will include a fly-by of fighter jets.

The Chinese regime’s increasing military assertiveness in the Taiwan Strait, and East and South China seas is drawing increasing condemnation from Western democracies.

Over the summer, the Group of Seven (G-7) underscored “the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and encourage the peaceful resolution of cross-strait issues.”

“We remain seriously concerned about the situation in the East and South China Seas and strongly oppose any unilateral attempts to change the status quo and increase tensions,” the G-7 said in a joint statement.

Reuters contributed to this report. 

Cathy He
CHINA EDITOR
Cathy He is a New York-based reporter focusing on China-related topics. She previously worked as a government lawyer in Australia. She joined the Epoch Times in February 2018.