The Chinese military stated on Wednesday that it recently conducted a battle readiness patrol in the seas and airspace surrounding Taiwan, citing “collusion” between Washington and Taipei as justification.
China, which claims democratically controlled Taiwan as its own territory, has increased its military maneuvers around the island in the last two years or so in order to put pressure on Taipei to acknowledge its sovereignty claims.
China has been particularly dissatisfied with the United States’ backing for Taiwan.
US President Joe Biden enraged China last week by appearing to modify an American policy of “strategic ambiguity” on Taiwan by declaring the US would intervene militarily if China attacked the island. Officials in the United States stated that there had been no change in policy.
The People’s Liberation Army Eastern Theatre Command stated in a statement that the combat “readiness patrol” had taken place near Taiwan in recent days and was “a vital move against US-Taiwan cooperation.”
“Recently, the US has made repeated maneuvers on the Taiwan problem, stating one thing and doing another, encouraging support for Taiwan independence forces, which would put Taiwan in a hazardous situation,” the command stated.
Taiwan is a part of China, and Chinese troops are continuing to intensify military training and preparations to “thwart” external meddling and acts by people who advocate Taiwan independence, according to the statement.
While no specific date was specified in the announcement, Taiwan claimed on Monday the greatest invasion by China’s air force in its air defense zone since January. Taiwanese jets were deployed to scare away 30 aircraft, according to the island’s defense ministry.
Taiwan has often expressed dissatisfaction with such flights in its Air Defense Identification Zone, or ADIZ.
No guns were fired, and the Chinese planes were not flying in Taiwan’s airspace, but in the ADIZ, a larger region that Taiwan monitors and patrols to allow it more time to respond to any threats.
Taiwan asserts that only its people have the authority to decide the island’s destiny, rejecting China’s claims of sovereignty.
Taiwan’s government has stated that, while it wishes for peace, it is prepared to defend itself if required.