The United States has reaffirmed its commitment to Taiwan amid incursions of Chinese military jets into the island’s air space.
The comments are the first from Washington on relations with Taiwan since President Joe Biden took office last week. Taipei has reported that a number of Chinese military jets and bombers have flown into its air defense zone, making the situation a potential flashpoint.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said it “notes with concern the pattern of ongoing PRC (People’s Republic of China) attempts to intimidate its neighbors, including Taiwan” and “urges Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure against Taiwan.”
The statement added that Washington would continue to work on “deepening” ties with democratic Taiwan.
While Taiwan split from China at the end of a civil war in 1949, Beijing considers the island a province of the mainland.
When he was US president, Donald Trump fostered warmer ties with Taiwan as he feuded with Beijing on issues like trade and national security.
Beijing has been calling for better US-China ties under Biden and has warned the US “cautiously and appropriately handle Taiwan issues to prevent harm to US-China relations”.
In 2020, Chinese airplanes made a record 380 incursions into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone. And also last year, Taiwan finalized the purchase from the US of at least 66 brand new F-16 fighter jets worth $62 billion. SOVEREIGNPH