Taiwan reacts to "reckless and provocative" action by China

Taiwan has accused China of "reckless and provocative" action, after two Chinese air force jets crossed a maritime border separating the island from the mainland.

The island's military scrambled fighter planes after it said two Chinese J-11 fighter jets crossed the border within the waters of the Taiwan Strait, known as the median line, at about 11 am on Sunday.

"Two PLAAF J-11 jets violated the long-held tacit agreement by crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait. It was an intentional, reckless and provocative action. We've informed regional partners and condemn China for such behavior," the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

If confirmed as intentional, the Chinese incursion would be the first of its kind in years, said Bonnie Glaser, director of the China Power Project at the center of Center for Strategic and International Studies.

"Chinese jets flew across the center line frequently in 1999," Glaser said. "Since then, there have been occasions when PRC jets flew toward the center line and then veered off. They haven't crossed it in a long time. By some accounts 20 years."

She said there was one instance in 2011 when Chinese planes accidentally crossed the line.

Air Force Officer Wang Chun-hsiung (王純雄) told CNA that Taiwan’s military has standard procedures for dealing with such incidents and will dispatch surveillance units if China’s military aircraft enter Taiwan’s air defense identification zone or cross the median line in the strait.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said on its Twitter that the Chinese war planes made “intentional, reckless and provocative action” and violated a long-held tacit agreement by crossing the median line.

“We’ve informed regional partners and condemn China for such behavior,” MOFA said.

Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang condemned that China’s act not only lacked international responsibility, but was also a deliberate provocation that undermines regional security and stability.

He described the act of the Chinese warplanes crossing the median line as destruction of the status quo in the strait.

“The Republic of China government strongly condemned such an act,” Huang said.

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Martin Banks

Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a highly qualified journalist with many years experience of working within the EU institutions. He is an occasional, and highly valued, contributor to EU today, writing on a wide variety of issues.

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