The fact that China violated Taiwan’s airspace last Friday by flying 20 combat aircraft reinforces US suspicions that President Xi Jinping is pushing for the annexation of the historically disputed island.
Last Friday, twenty combat aircraft flew over Taiwan’s airspace. This is the largest violation of that airspace to date. This step comes a day after Taiwan and its ally the United States agreed to strengthen cooperation between the coast guards in the two countries.
After a period of status quo, it appears that China is increasingly preparing for Taiwan’s annexation.
According to the British business newspaper the Financial Times, the US government is increasingly concerned about flexing Xi’s military muscles in Taiwan. “After a period of the status quo, it appears that China is preparing more and more to annex Taiwan,” says a senior US official.
The official deduces this from China’s assertive behavior in the South China Sea over the past two months. As Xi gradually prepares for his third term in office, he appears to see the Taiwan question as an important component of his legitimacy and legacy. He is willing to take risks.
The last time China stroked its back so eagerly in Taiwan militarily was in January, three days after Joe Biden was sworn in as President of the United States. The fighters and bombers then traversed Taiwan’s airspace to simulate a missile attack on the US aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, the US aircraft carrier in the South China Sea.
Since the Chinese Civil War of 1949, China has considered Taiwan a breakaway province. Beijing has historically claimed the island, which has a democratically elected government. Few countries have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan. In the introduction to the decisive congress of the Communist Party in 2022, Xi would like to turn to the Taiwan file and aim for reunification.
A US-China summit
The issue has also been raised The US-China diplomatic summit In Alaska. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken discussed tensions last week with Yang Jiechi, China’s chief foreign policy official.
“We will put on the table our big concerns about the Chinese intervention in Taiwan,” Blinken said before the meeting. Jiechi was fierce in his response. “China will intervene if the United States interferes in any way in the Taiwan issue,” he said.