China flew 25 warplanes into Taiwan’s air defence zone on Monday, prompting the US to threaten action.
CAPE TOWN, April 13 (ANA) – According to Taiwan’s defence ministry, China flew 25 warplanes into Taiwan’s air defence zone on Monday, the biggest violation since the island started routinely disclosing such action in September last year.
According to CNN, the Chinese flights came a day after US secretary of state John Kerry warned Beijing that Washington would defend the autonomous, self-governed island, which China considers part of its sovereign territory.
After the US department of state revised its constraints on meetings between US officials and counterparts from the island, which Beijing considers its own, China cautioned the US “not to play with fire,” Al Jazeera reports.
Any of the laws that limited dealings with the island, including in-person sessions, would be eliminated under the updated guidelines.
Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry, urged the US to “immediately halt any kind of US-Taiwan official communications, carefully and properly manage the matter, and not give wrong signals to Taiwan independence powers so as not to subvert Sino-US ties and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait”.
China has said previously such missions are essential to safeguard the country’s sovereignty and combat “collusion” between Taipei and Washington.
The remarks, made at a press conference by Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesperson for the state council’s Taiwan affairs office, responded to the US’s revision of its so-called “laws” on its relations with Taiwan, which removes many previously-imposed constraints on this issue, reported Xinhua.
The three joint communiques between China and the US reflect the US government’s firm commitment to the one-China principle, Ma said, according to CGTN.
Ma urged the US to keep its promises, avoid giving mixed signals to separatist powers demanding “Taiwan independence,” and ensure peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait through its behaviour.
In the near future, a full-scale takeover by China is unlikely, as it would necessitate a significant build-up of troops, which would be readily detectable by the US and Taiwanese surveillance.
The US is Taiwan’s most influential foreign ally and arms dealer.
The Taiwan Relations Act of 1979 requires the US to supply the island with the ability to protect itself.
– African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Naomi Mackay
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