TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan’s Executive Yuan on Friday expressed “serious concern” over China’s demarcation of an air defense identification zone (ADIZ), the Cabinet’s first official indication of Taiwan’s stance since China claimed the zone last Saturday.
“The Executive Yuan believes the move has not contributed to the positive development of cross-strait relations and will express its stance of serious concern to mainland China via channels,” it said in a statement.
Beijing’s announcement of the ADIZ came without consulting Taipei, even though parts of the Chinese ADIZ overlap with Taiwan’s own ADIZ, according to the statement.
Taiwan’s military will not make any changes due to China’s ADIZ and will continue carrying out sea and air missions including reconnaissance within Taiwan’s own ADIZ “based on its stance of safeguarding national security and public welfare,” the Executive Yuan said.
Echoing previous calls from President Ma Ying-jeou for peaceful dialogue over disputed islands, the Cabinet urged rational discourse and multilateral talks as it worried over the implications for regional stability.
The news release follows a joint statement from lawmakers across party lines who called for Taiwan to strongly protest China’s unilateral move and urged China to show restraint.
Lawmakers said the Ma administration should work with allies, including Japan, South Korea, Australia and the United States, to convince China into retracting its claim to the zone.
They also demanded Taiwan not hand flight plans over to Beijing for Taiwanese aircraft moving through the ADIZ, a concern that statements from aviation authorities have done little to ease.
Other concerned countries were quick to criticize China’s announcement. The U.S. has called it a “destabilizing attempt to alter the status quo in the region” while Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe referred to it as a “dangerous act.”
Just days after the demarcation, the U.S. sent two B-52 bombers on a “routine” flight through the area, and civilian airlines from Japan and South Korea said they will not comply with China’s demands for flight plans for transit through the zone.