The Chinese army announced that it had carried out a “combat readiness patrol” in the Taiwan Strait, “in response” to the visit that US congressmen are making to this island claimed by Beijing.
The island is a hotbed of tension between the United States and China, which considers it one of its provinces. It has a democratic system although the United Nations does not recognize Taiwan, of 23 million inhabitants, as an independent state.
In this difficult context, congressmen from the United States arrived in Taiwan on Thursday as a show of support for the island’s authorities, viewed by Beijing with distrust as they try to create a local identity different from the Chinese one.
The Chinese military carried out on Friday “a combat readiness patrol of the naval and air forces in the direction of the Taiwan Strait,” a military spokesman said in a statement released on Saturday.
“It is part of the army’s sacred mission to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the nation,” he added, without giving details about the mobilized media.
The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs underlined this Friday at a press conference China’s “firm opposition” to the visit of the congressmen, which means “supporting the Taiwanese pro-independence activists.”
This same month there was already a first visit by US congressmen to Taiwan.
Named the “Republic of China” as opposed to Beijing’s “People’s Republic of China”, Taiwan was formed as an independent entity in 1949, following the victory of the Communists in the Chinese civil war.
ehl / lch / grp / me