In an attempt to pressurize Taiwan, China recently flew warplanes and fighter jets near the island. According to Taiwan’s defence ministry eight Chinese bomber planes capable of carrying nuclear weapons, four fighter jets and one anti-submarine aircraft entered its south-western air defence identification zone. This was followed by 12 fighters, two anti-submarine aircrafts and a reconnaissance plane being flown on the consecutive day.
Despite claims of being an independent nation by the democratically elected President Tsai ing-wen of Taiwan formally known as ‘Republic of China’, China considers Taiwan part of its own territory and regards that it should be united with mainland China.
When asked about the recent military activities near the island, Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said, “The military activities carried out by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in the Taiwan Strait are necessary actions to address the current security situation in the Taiwan Strait and to safeguard national sovereignty and security. They are a solemn response to external interference and provocations by ‘Taiwan independence’ forces,” He added that, “We warn those ‘Taiwan independence’ elements: those who play with fire will burn themselves, and ‘Taiwan independence’ means war,”.
The United States has obligations to assist Taiwan in protecting itself. Calling China’s warning “unfortunate” Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby in a news conference said, “”The department sees no reason why tensions over Taiwan need to lead to anything like confrontation. And so, we find that comment unfortunate, and certainly not commensurate with our intentions to meet our obligations under the Taiwan Relations Act.” He added that “Nothing has changed about the department’s commitment.”