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Taiwan reports incursion by China, says it`s monitoring the situation

Taiwan reports incursion by China, says it`s monitoring the situation”

A map provided by the Ministry showed the Chinese aircraft again flew in between the southern part of Taiwan and the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands in the South China Sea.

But China's activities over the weekend mark a ratcheting up with fighters and bombers being dispatched rather than reconnaissance aircraft as had generally been the case in recent weeks.

But Taiwan has said the presence of the Chinese combat aircraft was unusual.

Taiwan's air force warned away the Chinese aircraft and deployed missiles to monitor them, the ministry added, using standard wording for how it responds to such activities.

The move is likely to further concern Washington, which on Saturday urged China to stop pressuring Taiwan and reaffirmed its commitment to the island and desire to deepen ties.

Ned Price, a spokesperson for the State Department, said: "We urged Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure against Taiwan and instead engage in meaningful dialogue with Taiwan's democratically elected representatives".

"We will continue to assist Taiwan in maintaining a sufficient self-defense capability", he continued.

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The entry of China's military aircraft into Taiwan's defense identification zone comes three days after Joe Biden assumed the US presidency, following his defeat of Donald Trump.

Biden's nominee for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, told his Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday there was "no doubt" China posed the most significant challenge to the United States of any nation.

The incursion on Saturday occurred just days after Joe Biden assumed the USA presidency. For example, the new administration invited Taiwan's representative in the U.S.to attend the inauguration for the first time since the USA broke off official relations with Taiwan in favour of Beijing in 1979.

The incident is the latest illustration of the tensions which characterise Taiwan's relations with the mainland.

Heightened rhetoric has raised fears of a full-blown invasion in recent months.

Austen also agreed with Japanese Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi in a call early on Sunday to oppose any attempts to change the status quo in the East or South China Seas with force in the background, according to a Japanese defense ministry statement.

"The Biden team has also, perhaps unexpectedly, been quite forward-leaning on upholding U.S. -Taiwan ties even at the risk of upsetting the opportunity for a US-China reset", Mr Grossman said.



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