In a single day last week, 19 Chinese Air Force planes, including 12 J-16 fighter jets, crossed the Taiwanese side of the so-called “middle line” that divides the Taiwan Strait – a body of water between Taiwan and China. More recently, the Chinese Air Force yesterday sent two Y-8 anti-submarine planes to the southwest region of Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone, prompting the latter to scramble fighter jets in response.
China said it does not recognize the middle line – an issue the two sides disagree on.
The Chinese government also considers Taiwan – an island nation about 160 km off the east coast of mainland China – as part of Chinese territory.
However, Taiwan is self-sufficient and insists it is an independent nation.
Beijing Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a daily press briefing on Monday, “The Taiwan region is an inalienable part of Chinese territory. The so-called “middle line” is non-existent. ”
Regarding China’s position on the middle line, Joseph Wu of Taiwan told reporters, according to the Guardian, “The middle line has been a symbol of preventing military conflict and maintaining peace and stability in the Strait. from Taiwan for many years.
READ: China sparks fury by sending nineteen fighter jets to Taiwan – ‘Don’t be a troublemaker!
Beijing also fears a strengthening of ties between the two countries and also allows Taiwan to be independent.
In August, the United States sent Alex Azar, the country’s health secretary, to Taiwan to discuss the coronavirus and other matters.
Speaking of the visit, China’s foreign spokesman Zhao Lijian warned that China was “strongly opposed” to meetings between the two countries.
He added, “On matters involving the fundamental interests of China, some people in the United States should not be deluded and wishful thinking. Those who play with fire will be burned.
Most recently, US Under Secretary of State Keith Krach visited Taiwan last week.
Asked to comment on the visit, Chinese official Wang Wenbin said, “This is a political provocation that emboldens the ‘Taiwan independence’ separatists and undermines Sino-US relations as well as peace and stability in the Strait. from Taiwan.
“China strongly opposes it and strongly condemns it. We will take countermeasures, including against the individuals concerned.
“The actions of the United States will have further negative consequences on Sino-American coordination and cooperation on major regional and international issues, for which it bears full responsibility.”
CNN International said that the numerous recent incidents of Chinese fighter jets crossing the midline between China and Taiwan were “without modern precedent.”