US State Department Criticizes China After Latest Military Incursion Against Taiwan


Saturday also saw the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt enter the South China Sea via the Bashi Channel between Taiwan and the Philippines.

As on Saturday, when 13 aircraft were involved, they flew in between the southern part of Taiwan and the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands in the South China Sea.

The new USA administration of President Joe Biden on Saturday urged China to stop intimidating Taiwan by military, diplomatic and economic means, while assuring the self-governed island of Washington's "rock-solid" support.

Eight Chinese bomber planes and four fighter jets entered the southwestern corner of Taiwan's air defense identification zone on Saturday, and Taiwan's air force deployed missiles to "monitor" the incursion, the island's defense ministry said Sunday.

In the US's first public remarks on Taiwan since Mr Biden came into power, the US State Department reaffirmed its "rock-solid commitment" to helping it defend itself.

The Biden administration has shown little sign of reducing pressure on China over such issues, although it is seen as favouring a return to more civil dialogue.

Also on Saturday, the Theodore Roosevelt, a United States aircraft carrier, entered the South China Sea with its accompanying strike group on what the Navy described as "routine operations" to "ensure freedom of the seas".

Ned Price, a spokesman from the U.S. State Department, said Washington "notes with concern the pattern of ongoing PRC [People's Republic of China] attempts to intimidate its neighbors, including Taiwan". It says the U.S. urges China to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure against Taiwan and instead engage in dialogue with Taiwan's democratically elected representatives.

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The statement noted that Washington's commitment to Taiwan is "rock-solid" and signaled that the USA will continue to help Taiwan maintain sufficient self-defense capabilities.

And in a final swipe at China, the Trump administration's outgoing United Nations ambassador tweeted that it's time for the world to oppose China's efforts to exclude and isolate Taiwan, drawing sharp criticism from Beijing.

Emily Horne, spokeswoman for the White House's National Security Council, said U.S. commitment to Taiwan remains "rock-solid" after the island's de facto ambassador in Washington, Hsiao Bi-khim, attended Biden's swearing-in on Wednesday.

The large number of Chinese aircraft incursions appeared to be an early test for the new Biden administration and its commitment to supporting the island democracy that Beijing considers part of its territory.

Since U.S. President Richard Nixon visited Mao Zedong in China in 1972, the two countries have issued three communiques serving as the basis of their relationship - with the handling of Taiwan at the core.

Like most nations, the USA has no official diplomatic ties with Taipei, but a U.S. law does require it to provide the island with the means to defend itself.

"We're committed to our partnership" with the United States, the ministry account said.