On Wednesday, the Chinese military announced that it conducted a combat “readiness patrol” in the waters and skies around Taiwan, citing “collusion” between Washington D.C. and Taipei as its reasoning.
China considers the democratically controlled Taiwan as its territory to govern. In recent years, China has increased the frequency of military operations around the island to force Taipei to acknowledge its sovereignty claims. The United States’ support for Taiwan has enraged China in particular.
After President Joe Biden suggested that the U.S. would take military action if China invaded Taiwan, China reacted angrily, accusing the U.S. of reversing a stance of “strategic ambiguity.” In the eyes of the United States government, there has been no change in strategy.
In a statement, the People’s Liberation Army Eastern Theater Command claimed that the recent “readiness patrol” around Taiwan was “a key act against US-Taiwan collaboration.”
“Recently, the United States has frequently made moves on the Taiwan issue, saying one thing and doing another, instigating support for Taiwan independence forces, which will push Taiwan into a dangerous situation,” the command added.
The command’s statement continued by affirming that Taiwan is part of China and promising that Chinese troops will continue to strengthen military training and preparations to “thwart” interference from outside countries and actions by those who support Taiwan’s independence.
Taiwan said on Monday that China’s air force breached its air defense zone for the first time since January. The defense ministry said that as many as 30 aircraft were chased away by Taiwan’s air force.
It was the most significant incursion since Taiwan reported 39 Chinese aircraft in its air defense zone on January 23.
However, Chinese aircraft have yet to enter Taiwan’s air space. The air defense zone is a broader area that Taiwan monitors and observes to give it more time to respond to any threats.
According to Taiwan, the island’s fate will be decided solely by its people, rejecting Chinese sovereignty claims. While the Taiwanese government would prefer a peaceful world, it has clarified that it will defend its own country if necessary.