TAIPEI (Reuters) – The past two days of Chinese planes approaching Taiwan show that Beijing is a threat to the entire region and have shown Taiwanese the true nature of the Chinese government even more clearly, President Tsai Ing said on Sunday. wen.
Several Chinese planes crossed the Taiwan Strait midline and entered the Taiwan Air Defense Identification Zone on Friday and Saturday, causing the jets to intercept Taiwan. China claims Taiwan as its territory.
At a press conference in Beijing on China̵
The drills took place while US Undersecretary of Economic Affairs Keith Krach was in Taipei, the State Department’s oldest office for the past four decades.
Speaking to reporters, Tsai denounced the Chinese exercises.
“I believe these activities are not helping China’s international image, and moreover they have put the people of Taiwan even more on their guard, understanding even better the true nature of the Chinese communist regime,” he said.
“In addition, other countries in the region also have a better understanding of the threat posed by China,” Tsai added. “The Chinese Communists must restrain themselves and not provoke”.
The Chinese Air Force released a video on Saturday showing its nuclear-capable H-6 bombers, which were involved in many Chinese flights from Taiwan, during the exercises.
A montage shows a simulation of an H-6 attack against an airbase that appears to be the main US Air Force base in Guam, from its runway layout.
Asked about that footage and China’s decision to release it while Krach was in Taiwan, Tsai said China’s recent activities pose a wider threat than just Taiwan.
“China’s existence is really aggressive and will bring a definitive threat.”
In comments brought by Chinese state media from a forum on relations with Taiwan in the southeastern China city of Xiamen, the head of the Chinese Taiwan Affairs Bureau did not directly mention the current tensions on Sunday.
Meeting the young Taiwanese, Liu Jieyi said it was inevitable that the two sides would get closer.
“Only when cross-strait relations are good can the interests and well-being of Taiwanese compatriots be fundamentally guaranteed,” Liu said.
But further friction seems likely as Taiwan and the US deepen relations further, with Taiwan seeking a free trade agreement.
Taiwanese economy minister Wang Mei-hua said on Sunday they were planning to hold a formal economic dialogue with the United States, after having what he called informal talks with Krach and his team on issues such as restructuring the chain. of supply.
Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Additional reporting by Jeanny Kao; Editing by Michael Perry