China deploys fighter jets to Taiwan Strait in brazen display of force

Taiwan MP warns Xi Jinping likely pursue invasion

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The show of force comes as a US delegation visits the island, the second such trip this month. Senior Colonel Shi Yi, the spokesperson for the PLA Eastern Theater Command, said the group had “continued organising naval and air forces to patrol with combat readiness in the Taiwan Straits”, adding that “such actions are necessary in response to the cross-Straits situation”.

China says the island of Taiwan is part of China and to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity is the sacred mission of the PLA, and the One China policy.

After the virtual summit between presidents of China and the US in which US President Joe Biden stressed the US does not support Taiwan secessionism, the US once again sent a congressional delegation to the island of Taiwan on Friday for a visit.

Taiwan’s legislative authorities on last Tuesday passed an extra budget worth £6.47bn ($8.63) billion for the island’s navy and air force to counter the Chinese mainland’s military modernization and “increasingly aggressive behaviour.”

Although the US doesn’t officially recognise the island as an independent state, Washington has vowed to protect the island.

The equipment set up by Taiwan includes coast-based anti-ship missiles, anti-air missiles, long-range precision missiles, vessels for the Navy and others for the Coast Guard, drones, Wan Chien air-to-ground cruise missiles and Hsiung Sheng missiles.

China claims the extra hardware will not deter with, or compete with the power gap between the two foes.

The United States and its allies have increased their presence in the South China Sea and Indo-Pacific region.

This week, The PLA tracked and monitored a US warship when the latter transited the Taiwan Straits in what China called “a risky and provocative move.”

President Xi Jinping in a virtual summit with US counterpart, Joe Biden warned him “not to play with fire” over Taiwan.

Mr Biden however reasserted his support for democracy in Taiwan.

Speaking of the US ship sailing near the area, Colonel Shi Yi, a spokesperson of the PLA Eastern Theater Command said: “The USS Milius guided-missile destroyer on Tuesday sailed through the Taiwan Straits, and the PLA Eastern Theater Command organized naval and air forces to track and monitor the vessel through its entire course on high alert.”

Colonel Shi added: “Command troops will take every measure necessary to resolutely counter all threats and provocations, and firmly safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

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For its part, Taiwan has vowed to defend itself against China.

Taiwan spokesperson Xavier Chang said: “Since President Biden took office, the US government has consistently demonstrated its rock-solid support for Taiwan through concrete actions.”

He added: “Taiwan will show a firm determination to defend itself.”

As security issues shift ever further East, many suggest that Taiwan and the South China Sea will become a new front for a Cold War between China and the US.

President Xi has declared his intention to establish a “world-class military” before the middle of this century.

The Pentagon’s assessment interprets this to mean “that Beijing will seek to develop a military by mid-century that is equal to—or in some cases superior to—the U.S. military, or that of any other great power that the PRC views as a threat.”

Both the US and China have stepped up their conventional warfare capabilities in recent times.

Hypersonic missiles, nuclear-powered submarines and more sophisticated defence systems have echoed the notion of a new cold war, and race for power in the region.

China’s latest sortie into areas near Taiwan suggests that the shows of force are likely to continue for some time.

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