In a recent statement, Taiwan has implored China to cease its "military harassment" following the detection of over 100 Chinese military aircraft approaching the island nation. This appeal, issued on Sunday, comes in the wake of heightened tensions between the two countries.
From early Sunday morning to the same time on Monday, Taiwan's defense ministry identified these aircraft, labeling their actions as "military harassment." Such activities, the ministry warns, have the potential to exacerbate regional tensions. The statement from the ministry read, "We urge the Beijing authorities to bear responsibility and immediately stop such kind of destructive military activities." It further emphasized the potential for these continuous military actions by the Communist military to drastically increase tensions and deteriorate regional security.
China views Taiwan as a renegade province and has never dismissed the possibility of using force to integrate the island under its jurisdiction. The apprehension has grown since Tsai Ing-wen, known for her democratic leanings, became Taiwan's President in May of the previous year. Beijing is concerned that she might push for Taiwan's independence. Despite Taiwan's repeated warnings against Beijing's increasing military incursions into its airspace, China has intensified its military activities over the past two years, aiming to coerce Taiwan into submission.
The situation has become even more strained with the recent visit of US officials to Taiwan. In response to Taiwan's bolstered interactions with the United States, China has ramped up its military presence in the region.
Adding another layer to the geopolitical landscape, the British parliament, just last week, recognized Taiwan as an "independent country" in a report by the Foreign Affairs Select Committee of the House of Commons. The report delineated potential actions the UK could take to deter China from aggressive moves against Taiwan, including economic sanctions in the event of an invasion or blockade. The committee's report highlighted that Taiwan, known formally as the Republic of China, meets all the criteria of statehood, with the only exception being broader international recognition.
The report also emphasized the need for the UK to ease its self-imposed restrictions on interactions with Taiwanese officials. It clarified that the UK's "One China" policy differs from China's "One China" principle. The committee has urged the UK government to disclose its China strategy, which has been kept from ministers and other officials due to security concerns.
This forthright report emerges during a period when the UK is striving to mend its ties with China. The relationship between the two nations had deteriorated under former Prime Minister Boris Johnson. However, the current administration under Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is making concerted efforts to rebuild this relationship. Sunak believes in the importance of ongoing dialogue with Beijing and is even attempting to organize a meeting between the leaders of the two countries at the upcoming G20 summit in India.