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Tensions grow in the Taiwan Strait after Chinese fighter raid

Beijing, 26 Dec. The Taiwanese Ministry of Defense today denounced the presence of 71 Chinese aircraft in the vicinity of the island, in an unprecedented air deployment around Taiwan.

Among them, 47 People’s Liberation Army (Chinese Army) airplanes, most of which were fighter jets, crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait, which is effectively an unofficial border tacitly respected by Taipei and Beijing in decades, but which has been constantly crossed in recent months by Chinese forces during military exercises.

The expeditions, which also included the incursion of seven Chinese military ships, took place between 06:00 local time on Sunday (22:00 GMT on Saturday) and 6:00 on Monday (22:00 GMT on Sunday), setting a record for the number of planes that participated in a period of 24 hours.

According to Taipei, the island’s air forces monitored the situation with naval and combat air patrols and ground-based missile systems to scare off Chinese planes from the Taiwanese Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), which is not defined by any international treaty and is not equivalent to its airspace.

TSAI ASKS FOR UNITY

The president of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, declared today during an act with the military that “the more united the Taiwanese are, the safer they will be”, while assuring that she will continue working to “defend democracy, freedom and security”. of the island.

Tsai called a high-level security meeting for Tuesday morning to “strengthen the defense system” of the island, the territory’s Presidency office explained today.

The island population remained calm in the face of the incursion of the Chinese planes into the ADIZ, as has been the case in the last two years, a period in which the frequency of the Chinese incursions has increased to such an extent that they have become almost an event. routine for the Taiwanese, whose authorities began reporting such shipments in 2009.

“FIRM ANSWER”

For its part, the Chinese Ministry of Defense notified today of the celebration this Sunday of “bombing practices” and “alert patrols” in “sea and air zones around the island of Taiwan”, without specifying whether it was referring to the movements detected by Taipei forces.

The Chinese military portfolio warned that its troops “will take any necessary measure to protect the national sovereignty and territorial integrity” of the Asian country.

Chinese Army Eastern Theater spokesman Shi Yi described Beijing’s actions as “a strong response to the recent increase in collusion between Taiwan and the United States.”

US APPROVES AID TO TAIWAN

Beijing thus responded to the approval last Friday by the United States Congress of the so-called National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which provides for an expenditure of 858,000 million dollars in defense, energy and national security that includes military aid to Taiwan.

The NDAA authorizes defense assistance to the island worth 10,000 million dollars (9,414 million euros), something that “seriously endangers peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned last Saturday. Defense of China, which accused Washington of “emptying the principle of ‘one China'”.

The visit to the territory last August by the speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, deeply irritated the Chinese government, which responded with economic sanctions and the announcement of military exercises in the waters surrounding Taiwan. , movements that were described by Taipei as “a blockade” and that brought tension in the Strait to levels unheard of in decades.

Despite the fact that the presidents of both superpowers, Xi Jinping and Joe Biden, staged a thaw in November on the margins of the G20 summit on the Indonesian island of Bali to prevent tensions from leading to a war, they also reiterated their differences around Taiwan.

Xi warned Biden that Taiwan, whose sovereignty China claims, is “the first red line that must not be crossed” and assured that he hopes the US will “honor its promise” not to support eventual independence for the island. .

For his part, Biden informed Xi that his policy towards the island has not changed and that he continues to oppose any “unilateral change” in the “status quo”.

Taiwan has been considered a sovereign territory with its own government and political system under the name of the Republic of China since the end of the civil war between nationalists and communists in 1949, but Beijing maintains that it is a rebel province and insists that it return to what called common homeland.

The island is also one of the biggest sources of conflict between China and the United States, mainly because Washington is Taiwan’s main arms supplier and would be its greatest military ally in the event of a possible war with Beijing. EFE

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