US President Joe Biden’s administration on Saturday urged China to stop placing military pressure on Taiwan, while calling on both sides of the Taiwan Strait to engage in peaceful dialogue.
The statement by the US Department of State was issued after 13 Chinese military aircraft flew into Taiwan’s southwest air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Saturday, the highest number observed in a single day this year, the Ministry of National Defense said.
The air force scrambled fighter jets to monitor the Chinese aircraft, issuing radio warnings and mobilizing air defense assets until the planes left the ADIZ.
Photo courtesy of Ministry of National Defense
The US “notes with concern” the pattern of ongoing attempts by the People’s Republic of China to intimidate its neighbors, including Taiwan, a statement issued by US Department of State spokesman Ned Price said.
“We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure against Taiwan and instead engage in meaningful dialogue with Taiwan’s democratically elected representatives,” it said.
“We will stand with friends and allies to advance our shared prosperity, security, and values in the Indo-Pacific region — and that includes deepening our ties with democratic Taiwan,” the statement added.
It reiterated Washington’s stance of supporting “a peaceful resolution of cross-strait issues, consistent with the wishes and best interests of the people on Taiwan.”
The statement also said that the US would continue to assist Taiwan in maintaining “sufficient self-defense capability,” as outlined in the Three Joint Communiques, the Taiwan Relations Act and the “six assurances.”
“Our commitment to Taiwan is rock-solid and contributes to the maintenance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and within the region,” it concluded.
The statement was released less than a week after Biden was sworn into office.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said that it sincerely welcomes and thanks the Biden administration for showing support for Taiwan, and for attaching importance to Taiwan’s national defense and security, as well as peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, soon after taking office.
The ministry would work closely with the administration, and reinforce the close partnership between Taiwan and the US by building on the foundation of their friendship, it said.
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) in a statement also welcomed the US’ support, saying that Democrats have continued to uphold the cross-strait framework of the past 40-plus years, and encouraged cross-strait dialogue.
Regarding the frequent presence of Chinese military aircraft in Taiwan’s airspace, the KMT said that with the Lunar New Year holiday approaching, it urges the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to exercise restraint, and not to cause trepidation among Taiwanese.
Chinese authorities should recognize that both sides are responsible for the “knot” in cross-strait relations, which should be resolved peacefully through political means, the party said.
It added that it hopes the governments on both sides prioritize the interests of the people.
Additional reporting by Sherry Hsiao and Lu Yi-hsuan
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