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US slams 'destabilizing' Chinese flights in Taiwan air defense zone

08:45 05 October 2021 Author :  

The US sharply criticized Monday a recent major uptick in Chinese military planes allegedly violating Taiwan's air defense zone, saying the flights are "destabilizing."

Taiwan said earlier Monday that dozens of Chinese military aircraft ​​​​​​​entered its air defense area, the largest-ever daily incursion by China since September 2020.

White House spokeswoman said the flights undermine "regional peace and stability," and called on Beijing "to seize its military, diplomatic and economic pressure and coercion against Taiwan."

"We have an abiding interest in peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. That’s why we will continue to assist Taiwan in maintaining a sufficient self-defense capability," she told reporters.

"Our commitment to Taiwan is rock solid, and contributes to the maintenance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and within the region. We have been clear privately and publicly about our concern about the PRC’s pressure and coercion toward Taiwan, and we will continue to watch the situation very closely," she added.

Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense said 52 Chinese aircraft flew into Taiwan's southwestern air defense identification zone on Monday.

Taiwan tasked combat air patrol aircraft, issued radio warnings, and deployed air defense missile systems to monitor the activity, the ministry added on Twitter.

China claims Taiwan as a "breakaway province," while Taipei has maintained its independence since 1949.

Taiwan defines the air defense identification zone as an area that extends beyond its air space where air traffic controllers ask incoming aircraft to identify themselves./aa

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