China today held a military exercise near Taiwan a few hours before US officials arrived in Taipei to express President Biden’s support for Taiwan and its democracy.
Taiwan has repeatedly complained about China’s military activities near its territory, including the entry of Chinese fighters and bombers into its airspace or the approach of a Chinese aircraft carrier.
Reuters reported that 25 Chinese aircraft entered Taiwan’s airspace on Monday, the most so far.
The Taiwan China Office stated that the Taiwan government and separatists have cooperated with “foreign forces” to provoke and undermine peace and security.
Spokesperson Ma Xiaoguang said: “The Chinese People’s Liberation Army is organizing actual combat exercises in the Taiwan Strait. This is a necessary action to safeguard national sovereignty under the current security situation.”
He added: “This is just a response to interference from outside forces.”
Like most countries, the United States only recognizes the government of Beijing and not the government of Taipei, but it is still Taiwan’s biggest supporter in the region. The United States is increasingly concerned about the growing tension between China and the island nation.
Former US Senator Chris Dodd and former US State Department Deputy Secretary Richard Armitage and James Steinberg will arrive in Taiwan late Wednesday . White House officials called the visit a “personal signal” of Biden’s commitment to Taiwan and its democracy.
The Americans will meet with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Thursday. Xavier Chang, a spokesperson for her office, said that the trip “represents the strong Taiwan-US relationship” and “multilateral support for the United States in Taiwan.”