The Chinese military said on Wednesday it had undertaken a combat readiness patrol in recent days in the sea and airspace surrounding Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory.
According to a Chinese military statement, the troops have continued to improve their training and war readiness, and will thwart any outside interference or tricks aimed at achieving “Taiwan independence”.
China’s air force has made its biggest incursion into Taiwan’s air defense zone since January, Taiwan officials said. In the latest flare-up, Taiwanese fighters rushed to scare off 30 planes, according to the island’s defense ministry.
Beijing has started sending huge sorties into the Taiwan Defense Zone in recent years to express its displeasure and put Taipei’s aging fighter force under regular pressure.
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Democratically autonomous Taiwan is under constant threat of invasion by China, which considers the island its territory and has threatened to take it by force if necessary.
Last week, the United States accused Beijing of stoking tensions on the island, citing the aerial incursions as an example of “increasingly provocative rhetoric and conduct”, according to Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Blinken’s comments come after US President Barack Obama appeared to defy decades of US policy when he said, in response to a question during a visit to Japan, that if Taiwan were invaded by China, Washington would would defend militarily.
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