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Home The News News US calls on China to end pressure against Taiwan

US calls on China to end pressure against Taiwan

The US on Saturday urged China to stop pressuring Taiwan, saying it would continue to monitor China’s military exercises.

“We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic and economic pressure against Taiwan and instead engage in meaningful dialogue with Taiwan,” a US Department of State spokesperson said in a statement.

The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) yesterday also urged Beijing to stop pressuring Taiwan.

Navy personnel aboard the guided-missile frigate ROCS Tian Dan monitor the People’s Liberation Army frigate Xuzhou at an undisclosed location on Saturday.

Photo: EPA-EFE / Taiwan navy

On Saturday, the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Eastern Theater Command launched joint air and sea patrols, and navy and air force drills near Taiwan proper.

China said the drills were a “stern warning” for collusion between “separatists and foreign forces.”

The PLA launched the drills a day after Vice President William Lai (賴清德) returned from a trip to Paraguay, Taiwan’s only South American diplomatic ally, which included stopovers in the US.

“The United States has an abiding interest in peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, which is critical to regional and global security and prosperity,” an AIT spokesperson said in a statement yesterday.

“The United States will continue to support a peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues, consistent with the wishes and best interests of the people on Taiwan,” the statement said.

The US remains committed to its “one China” policy, which is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the Three Joint Communiques and the “six assurances,” it added.

Meanwhile, the navy released video footage of its sailors on the Cheng Kung-class guided-missile frigate ROCS Tian Dan shadowing the Chinese frigate Xuzhou, which it said was filmed on Saturday in the seas to the south of Taiwan proper.

The military also released photographs of one of its fighter jets taking off and a pilot checking a missile underneath an aircraft.

“The Armed Forces have monitored the situation and tasked CAP [combat air patrol] aircraft, navy vessels, and land-based missile systems to respond these activities,” the Ministry of National Defense said in a statement.

Nine of the PLA’s warships and of its 45 warplanes were detected around Taiwan from 6am on Saturday to 6am yesterday, including 25 warplanes that crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait, it said.

Of the aircraft that crossed the median line, nine were Su-30 fighters, four were J-11s, and 12 were J-10s, flight data released yesterday by the ministry showed.

A Y-9 electronic warfare aircraft and a Z-9 anti-submarine helicopter entered the southwestern part of Taiwan’s air defense identification zone, the data showed.

Separately, Lai told Era News in an interview aired on Saturday night that China’s drills in response to his trip were unnecessary, as it is normal for Taiwanese leaders to visit other countries.

Making a fuss about the trip “is unhelpful to cross-strait stability,” he said in the interview that was conducted during his visit overseas.

Taiwan is a democracy and its people are the masters of their country, he said, adding that Taiwan would not be governed by whoever China likes as that would run counter to the spirit of democracy and ruin Taiwan’s democratic system.

New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, said on Facebook on Saturday night that “any action that might affect the stability of the Taiwan Strait and regional peace would not help advance cross-strait relations.”

China’s military exercises “would only further impede cross-strait exchanges and increase resentment among the people of Taiwan,” he said.

Hou yesterday added that he hoped that conflict across the Taiwan Strait could be reduced through dialogues and exchanges.

Taiwan People’s Party Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) on Saturday said that military exercises and harassment would not help improve cross-strait relations, adding that China needs to think clearly about what it should do.

He called for cross-strait dialogue instead of confrontation, saying that people hope for stability in the Taiwan Strait, a safe Taiwan and peace of mind.

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) founder Terry Gou (郭台銘) yesterday said during a visit to New Taipei City’s Cihui Temple (慈惠宮) that Taiwan would only distance itself if China uses military coercion against it.

The people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait share the same roots and the same race, and they all grew up peacefully under the blessing of the sea goddess Matsu, he said.

As Chinese military aircraft must fly past the Meizhou Matsu Temple in China’s Fujian Province when sent to circle Taiwan, he asked the PLA Air Force: “Has Matsu agreed that you attack Taiwan?”

Taiwan and China have not had been engaged in war for more than 70 years, apart from the 823 Artillery Bombardment, he said, adding that war would be against Matsu’s will.

Taiwan’s 23 million people are all against another war, he said, adding that everyone should sit down and talk.

Additional reproving by Shih Hsiao-kuang, Huang Tzu-yang, Huang Ching-hsuan, CNA and Reuters

Source: Taipei Times - 2023/08/21

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