China’s latest display of aggression toward Taiwan is raising concerns that a war could break out.
This situation ramped up on Friday with China flying 38 warplanes into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ). The fact that China is doing this is nothing new, but what is new is the number, 38, which set a new record.
On Saturday, that record was increased again with China flying 39 warplanes into Taiwan’s ADIZ. China did backed off some on Sunday, only sending 16 warplanes in. But, on Monday, China blasted past Saturday’s record by sending in 52 warplanes.
That’s 145 warplanes in four days. According to reports, the warplanes flew over key areas that would be important if violence should ever break out between China and Taiwan.
What’s going on?
We don’t know why exactly China has decided to step up its aggression toward Taiwan.
In general, China claims that Taiwan is part of its territory, and the flying of its warplanes into Taiwan’s ADIZ, something that it has been doing for a while now, is meant to demonstrate this. Taiwan, on the other hand, has been trying to maintain its independence from China, an independence that it gained back in 1949.
Some believe that this most recent show of aggression by China could have something to do with Taiwan’s recent application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a trade pact that China also wants to be a part of.
Others believe that the aggression may stem from the fact that China, on Friday, celebrated the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the Communist People’s Republic of China.
The U.S.’s response
On Sunday, the U.S. State Department put out a statement saying, “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.”
The State Department, accordingly, urged “Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure and coercion against Taiwan.” And, the State Department made it clear that the U.S. will stand by its commitment, under the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, to help protect Taiwan.
President Joe Biden followed this up with a statement of his own on Tuesday. He said that he and his administration have “made it clear” to China that it should be abiding by the longstanding “one China” agreement, wherein the U.S. doesn’t recognize Taiwan’s sovereignty so long as China stays peaceful toward Taiwan.
The U.S. is getting ready to hold a meeting with China in Switzerland. A White House spokeswoman, though, has said that the subject of the meeting will be managing “the competition between the U.S. and the [People’s Republic of China].”