U.S. calls on China to stop coercion after PLA jets cross median line

TAIPEI (CNA) – The United States yesterday called on China to stop its coercion against Taiwan and resume official cross-strait dialogue after two Chinese Air Force planes crossed the Taiwan Strait median line Sunday, a rare move that violated a long-held tacit agreement between the two sides.

According to Taiwan’s defense ministry, two J-11 fighter planes from the People’s Liberation Army of China crossed the median line and entered Taiwan’s southwestern airspace at 11 a.m. Sunday.

The aircraft finally returned to China’s side of the median line after receiving multiple radio warnings.

Government officials said the intrusion triggered a 12-minute standoff between Taiwanese and Chinese warplanes when the latter flew 43 nautical miles into Taiwan’s airspace, despite repeated warnings.

Asked to comment on the incident, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) told reporters Monday that Beijing’s efforts to unilaterally alter the status quo “are harmful and do not contribute to regional stability.”

“Rather, they undermine the framework that has enabled peace, stability, and development for decades,” AIT spokesperson Amanda Mansour said while reiterating Washington’s position that Beijing should stop its coercive efforts and resume dialogue with Taipei.

“Consistent with the Taiwan Relations Act, the United States considers any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means, including by boycotts or embargoes, of grave concern to the United States,” she continued.

The spokesperson added that to the U.S. “Taiwan is a reliable partner, a democratic role model, and a force for good in the world. The United States urges China to abstain from coercion that would jeopardize the security, or the social or economic system, of the people on Taiwan.” AIT represents U.S. interests in Taiwan in the absence of official diplomatic ties.

By Joseph Yeh