China Criticizes the US for Conducting Surveillance Flight Close to Taiwan

In a statement released on February 27, 2023, China blamed the United States for escalating tensions in the Taiwan Strait by flying a surveillance aircraft in the area. 

According to a report by the Associated Press, Chinese forces made movements around the area to keep tabs on the US P-8A Poseidon spy aircraft as it did its aerial sweep to guarantee “all matters were in hand,” China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Eastern Theater Command declared in a social media statement. The Daily Caller noted that the Taiwan Strait is a “100-mile wide bridge of water” that separates the disputed territory from mainland China. 

Chinese authorities view the maneuvers of foreign military vessels and aircraft through the strait as a provocation that threatens its sovereignty over the island. In its statement, the PLA declared that the

US “deliberately disrupted and undermined the regional situation.” 

American naval vessels usually sail the strait in symbolic efforts to promote freedom of navigation efforts in the area. That said, overflights of US aircraft are less frequent.

“We firmly oppose this. Theater troops maintain a high level of alert at all times and will resolutely defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the PLA declared. 

The US 7th Fleet confirmed the overflight in a statement published on February 27.

“By operating within the Taiwan Strait in accordance with international law, the United States upholds the navigational rights and freedoms of all nations,” the statement red. “The aircraft’s transit of the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

China criticized the US for boasting about the flight, asserting that it “endangered peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.”

The Daily Caller noted that China repeatedly deploys sorties of military vessels and aircraft through the Taiwan Strait and into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ). China also conducted multiple military exercises simulating an invasion of Taiwan as a means of sending a firm message to Taiwanese authorities to not engage in pro-independence efforts or act as a battering ram for US interests. 

While in an ideal world Taiwan would be a sovereign nation, the world of geopolitics is cruel and harsh. China is a nuclear-armed civilization state that is on the rise. Taiwan has historically been a part of China, and due to its growing power, its re-unification with the island is an inevitability. 

Like Russia with regards to Ukraine, China will enjoy escalatory dominance in a conflict against Taiwan. The US will only catalyze a tragedy by encouraging a proxy or direct conflict in Taiwan. 

Sure, the US should decouple its economic ties with China, reduced immigration from there, and shut down its subversive Confucius institutes. However, war with it over Taiwan should be completely out of the question.

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