US support for Taiwan ‘rock-solid’ after China sends warplanes

Chinese air force planes including 12 fighter jets entered Taiwan’s air defence identification zone for a second day on Sunday, Taiwan said, as tensions rise near the island just days into US President Joe Biden’s new administration.

China views democratically ruled Taiwan as its own territory, and has in the past few months increased military activity near the island.

“Airborne alert sorties had been tasked, radio warnings issued and air defence missile systems deployed to monitor the activity,” the ministry said.

China has yet to comment. It has previously said such actions are aimed at defending the country’s sovereignty and designed to act as a warning against “collusion” between the United States and Taiwan.

The US Department of State on Saturday said it “notes with concern the pattern of [China’s] ongoing attempts to intimidate its neighbours, including Taiwan”.

“We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure against Taiwan and instead engage in meaningful dialogue with Taiwan’s democratically elected representatives,” spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement.

Washington will continue to deepen ties with Taiwan and ensure its defence from Chinese threats while supporting a peaceful resolution of issues between the sides, the statement said.

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