Tensions have flared in Asia over the past week as Taiwan was repeatedly menaced by Chinese warplanes. The ominous development has some observers warning that the risk of armed conflict is a growing possibility.
According to Fox News, China recently initiated its largest-ever incursion into Taiwanese airspace in an exercise that involved some 154 aircraft, including some three dozen fighter jets and a dozen bombers, prompting Taiwan to make initial preparations for a worst-case scenario.
The influx of military forces began last Friday, which marked 72 years since communist forces cemented their control over mainland China.
More Chinese flights continued over the weekend and into Monday, a day that was also significant as it saw the election of the new Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Reuters reported.
Taiwan Premier Su Tseng-chang voiced his objections to the latest Chinese actions, with Reuters quoting him as telling reporters during a briefing on Saturday that “China has been wantonly engaged in military aggression, damaging regional peace.”
State Dept. reacts
U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price offered similar condemnation, saying in a statement the United States “is very” concerned over China’s “provocative military activity near Taiwan.”
Price went on to add that such “destabilizing” behavior creates a risk of “miscalculations,” while undermining “regional peace and stability.”
“We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure and coercion against Taiwan,” the State Department official stressed.
Price concluded by insisting, “We will continue to stand with friends and allies to advance our shared prosperity, security, and values and deepen our ties with democratic Taiwan.”
Fox News noted that the United States has dispatched the aircraft carriers USS Ronald Reagan and USS Carl Vinson to the region alongside one aircraft carrier each from the United Kingdom and Japan.
China has a long history of making aggressive moves towards Taiwan, although its rhetoric has grown more heated following President Joe Biden’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan over the summer.
Fox News reported in August that a Chinese state-owned newspaper published an op-ed in which it warned the people of Taiwan that the United States would abandon them just as it had allies in Afghanistan.