Chinese jets fly over Taiwan, US support for the island remains “rock solid”

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The US State Department assured on Saturday that US support for Taiwan remains “rock solid” despite “attempts to intimidate” China, several planes of which have entered the island’s airspace. during the day.

These statements are the first about Taiwan since US President Joe Biden took office this week.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement that he “notes with concern the current trend of the PRC (People’s Republic of China) to intimidate its neighbors, including Taiwan,” and “urges Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic and economic pressures on Taiwan ”.

Taiwan separated from China at the end of the civil war in 1949. Its 23 million inhabitants live under the constant threat of an invasion from mainland China, whose rulers consider the island part of their country. territory.

Despite its diplomatic ties with Beijing, Washington remains Taipei’s most important military support.

China, opposed to any official ties with Taiwan, is trying to isolate the island diplomatically.

Former US President Donald Trump had strengthened contacts with Taipei during his diplomatic and commercial standoff with China.

The latter pleaded for a new start in bilateral relations under the Biden presidency, calling on the United States on Thursday to “deal with the problems concerning Taiwan in a cautious and appropriate manner to avoid damaging China-United States relations.”

But the new US president should stay on a hard line, as the protection of Taiwan is a consensus topic in the United States.

The Chinese air force last year made 380 raids into Taiwan’s air defense zone – a record – and the trend appears to continue since Mr Biden came to power.

According to the Taiwanese Ministry of National Defense, 13 Chinese planes, including eight bombers and five fighters, again violated its air defense zone on Saturday.

The Taiwanese Foreign Ministry thanked the United States for its support “despite current pressure from Beijing.”

A subtle but symbolic gesture, Taiwan’s de facto ambassador to the United States had been formally invited to Joe Biden’s inauguration – a first since the United States recognized the Beijing regime in 1979, according to Taipei.

The US press release specifies that Washington “will continue to help Taiwan maintain an autonomous self-defense capability.”

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