Following the recent People's Liberation Army Air Force operations in the skies over Taiwan, the United States called on the People’s Republic of China “to cease its military, diplomatic and economic pressure and coercion against Taiwan.” State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said in a written statement, “The United States is very concerned by the [PRC’s] provocative military activity near Taiwan, which is destabilizing, risks miscalculations, and undermines regional peace and stability.”
Starting on October 1 and coinciding with the PRC’s “National Day,” the People’s Liberation Army flew an unprecedented number of sorties into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone. The PLA aircraft included fighter jets and bombers, and the flights occurred both day and night.
In response, Taiwan scrambled fighters to monitor the PRC planes, issued radio warnings to the population, and deployed air defense missile systems.
Over the past year, the PRC steadily increased its incursions into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone, but the recent air operation by the PRC was unparalleled in its scope. It was also accompanied by threatening rhetoric in Beijing’s state-controlled media against the democratically ruled island. The Global Times boasted, “The initiative of when and how to solve the Taiwan question is firmly in the hands of the Chinese mainland.” The Global Times’ editor tweeted, “It is only a matter of time before Taiwan’s separatist authorities fall.”
In his statement, Spokesperson Price said the United States has “an abiding interest in peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. We will continue to assist Taiwan in maintaining a sufficient self-defense capability, and we will maintain our commitments as outlined in the Taiwan Relations Act, the three Joint Communiques, and the Six Assurances.”