US carrier group enters South China Sea amid Taiwan tensions

24 Janvier, 2021, 14:08 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Taiwan reports incursion by China, says it`s monitoring the situation

China has repeatedly complained about US Navy ships getting close to Chinese-occupied islands in the South China Sea, where Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Taiwan all have competing claims.

China, which claims Taiwan as its territory, has routinely had one or two reconnaissance aircraft fly over the area in recent months. In response, Taipei's air force deployed missiles to "monitor" the situation.

News of the incursion brought a swift statement from the US State Department, urging China to stop pressuring Taiwan while reaffirming its commitment to the nation.

Taiwan's defense ministry said Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan's defense identification zone Saturday and that the Taiwanese air force warned them to withdraw.

"We will continue to assist Taiwan in maintaining a sufficient self-defense capability".

There was no immediate comment from China.

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China says it has been carrying out exercises to defend the country's sovereignty and security.

Taiwan's foreign ministry expressed its thanks for the show of USA support, adding they would work closely with the Biden administration to strengthen their close partnership. During Trump's four years in office, China became increasingly concerned over growing USA support for the East Asian island.

Last year, during visits by senior US officials to Taipei, Chinese aircraft briefly crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait, which normally serves as an unofficial buffer.

The latest statement demonstrates the commitment by the new administration of President Joe Biden to maintain the USA stance toward deepening ties with Taiwan.

Emily Horne, spokeswoman for the White House's National Security Council said United States commitment to Taiwan remains "rock-solid" after the island's de facto ambassador in Washington, Hsiao Bi-khim, attended Biden's swearing-in on Wednesday.

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