BEIJING (Dispatches) -- The Chinese military said on Wednesday it had conducted a combat “readiness patrol” in the seas and airspace around Taiwan in recent days, saying it was a necessary action to respond to “collusion” between Washington and Taipei.
China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory, has stepped up its military maneuvers around the island over the past two years or so amid Washington’s intensified military engagement and intervention in the region.
U.S. President Joe Biden angered China last week by appearing to signal a change in an American policy of “strategic ambiguity” on Taiwan by saying the United States would become involved militarily if China were to attack the island. U.S. officials said there had been no change in policy.
In a statement, the People’s Liberation Army Eastern Theatre Command said the combat “readiness patrol” had happened around Taiwan in recent days and was “a necessary action against U.S.-Taiwan collusion”.
“Recently, the United States has frequently made moves on the Taiwan issue, saying one thing and doing another, instigating support for Taiwan independence forces, which will push Taiwan into a dangerous situation,” the command added.
Taiwan is part of China and Chinese troops continue to strengthen military training and preparations to “thwart” interference from external forces’ and actions by those who support Taiwan secession, it said.
While the statement did not given an exact date for when the drill happened, Taiwan on Monday reported the largest “incursion” since January by China’s air force in its so-called air defense zone. The island’s defense ministry said Taiwanese fighters scrambled to warn away 30 aircraft.
On Tuesday, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said the United States is planning on “cooperation”