Beijing has also sent more ships to the disputed South China Sea in what one analyst called “strategic intimidation.”
China said it would “never” tolerate foreign intervention in issues related to Taiwan, an autonomous democratic island that China claims to be its own, after Taiwan reports largest incursion on its airspace on record Chinese planes, and that Beijing has sent more ships to the South China Sea.
At least 28 Chinese Air Force planes, including nuclear-capable fighters and bombers, entered Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) on Tuesday, the Taiwanese government said.
The incident came after Group of Seven leaders issued a joint statement on Sunday criticizing China on a range of issues and reiterating the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.
Asked at a press conference on Wednesday about the link between military activity and the G7 statement, Ma Xiaoguang, spokesperson for the Chinese Taiwan Affairs Bureau, accused the Taiwan government of being responsible for the tensions.
Beijing has been putting increasing pressure on the island since Tsai Ing-wen first became president in 2016 and believes the island’s government is working with foreign countries to gain formal independence.
“We will never tolerate attempts to seek independence or gratuitous intervention in the Taiwan question by foreign forces, so we must respond firmly to these acts of collusion,” Ma said.
Taiwan has complained in recent months of repeated missions of the Chinese Air Force near the island, mainly in the southwestern part of its air defense zone near the Pratas Islands controlled by Taiwan.
However, this time, not only did the Chinese plane fly to an area near the Pratas Islands, but the bombers and some of the fighters flew over the southern part of Taiwan, near the lower tip of the island, according to the ministry. the Defense of Taiwan.
The overflight took place on the same day as the The US Navy says a group of carriers led by the USS Ronald Reagan entered the disputed South China Sea.
“The Ronald Reagan strike group has not interacted with any Chinese military aircraft,” Carrier Strike Group 5 spokesman Lt. Commander Joe Keiley said in an emailed statement responding to inquiries. if the Chinese plane had approached them.
“During the Strike Group operations in the South China Sea, all communications between ships and aircraft were up to international standards and had no impact on our operations.”
A senior official familiar with Taiwan’s security planning told Reuters news agency that it was believed China wanted to send a message to the United States as the carrier group crossed the Bashi Canal, which separates Taiwan from the Philippines and leads to the South China Sea.
“It’s a strategic intimidation of the US military. They wanted the United States to notice their capability and restrict their behavior, ”the official said.
Taiwan should pay attention to the fact that the Chinese military has started to conduct exercises in the southeast of the ADIZ (Air Defense Identification Zone), they added.
This “targeted our deployments to the east to some extent and increased air defense pressure around our ADIZ,” the source said.
Taiwan’s east coast is home to two major air bases with hangars dug into the mountainside to provide protection in the event of a Chinese assault.
#Chinese warships in the South China Sea in early June. The 1st view shows the type 901 CHAGANHU 967 supply vessel with the type 052D #destructive NANNING 162; CHAGANHU put into service at the end of 2018, NANNING in May 2021. The last view shows the amphibious vessel type 071 QILIANSHAN 985, also put into service in May pic.twitter.com/ltNnvZdpiV
– Chris Cavas (@CavasShips) June 16, 2021
In recent days, China has also deployed surveillance forces in the disputed waters of the South China Sea.
The US military recently reported Chinese spy ships at Spratly’s Fiery Cross Reef, which is considered the most advanced of Chinese bases in the vast maritime space.
Chinese maritime patrols were also seen in the area, as well as air patrol boats at the reef airfield.
Supply ships, destroyers and amphibians have also been reported in the South China Sea in recent weeks, according to reports and social media posts.