Taiwan sent combat aircraft and deployed missile defense systems to warn off ten Chinese fighter jets that entered the island’s air space on Friday, according to Taiwan’s defense ministry.
The Chinese incursion came a day after the Taiwanese government proposed spending an additional $8.69 billion on defense over the next five years.
“The Chinese Communists plot against us constantly,” Taiwan premier Su Tseng-chang said earlier on Friday, in comments reported by Reuters. New spending for Taiwan’s defense “is based on safeguarding national sovereignty, national security, and national security. We must not relax. We must have the best preparations so that no war will occur.”
China, which does not recognize Taiwan as an independent country, has regularly sent aircraft to buzz Taiwanese air space over the past year. Chinese aircraft entered Taiwan’s air space minutes prior to a Taiwanese military drill in early August.
Chinese state media have also warned that the chaotic American withdrawal from Afghanistan indicates that the U.S. is an unreliable ally for Taiwan.
Taiwan foreign minister Joseph Wu described the island as a “sea fortress” blocking the expansion of China and preserving freedom of navigation in the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea, in comments to an online forum by the Global Taiwan Institute on Wednesday.
“Both of them are critical to peace and stability in the Indo Pacific region,” Wu said. “Most importantly, a democratic Taiwan serves as a sea fortress to block China’s expansionism into the wider Pacific”
China’s Taiwan Affairs Office blasted Wu’s remarks.
Wu’s “aim is to deceive public opinion, to rope in and collude with anti-China foreign forces,” the agency said.