Taiwan condemns “provocative” incursion into two Chinese warships

FILE PHOTO: China's Liaoning aircraft carrier with accompanying fleet conducts a drill in an area of South China Sea, in this undated photo taken December, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer/File photo ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. CHINA OUT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTX2YEHU

UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Taipei accused the Chinese Air Force of carrying out a “provocative” incursion on Sunday after two J-11 warplanes overflew the border between mainland China and the island.

The Taiwan Defense Ministry said it was forced on Sunday morning to send its aircraft and warn after two Chinese fighters of the type G-11 “midline” separating China and the island in the Taiwan Straits.

The Chinese planes “violated the long-standing implicit agreement (on the “middle line”) by crossing the middle line in the Taiwan Straits, the ministry said in a tweet.

We have told our regional partners and we condemn China’s behavior, “the ministry said.

In recent years, China has intensified its fighter incursions and reinforced the presence of its warships near Taiwan. These steps on the island are seen as a show of force under intense tension.

But flying over the “middle line” implicitly recognized as a boundary, is unusual.

According to Chinese media, Chinese aircraft have not exceeded this line since 2011.

The two sides described the 2011 incident as a regrettable mistake committed by two planes in response to an American spy plane.

But the Taiwan Defense Ministry on Sunday described the latest incursion as a deliberate act.

Taiwanese presidential spokesman Alex Huang said the incursion violated “the status quo with regard to crossing the Straits.”

China recently condemned the crossing of US military vessels by the Taiwan Strait. Although the straits are international maritime crossings, China always expresses its discontent when US or Western ships use the Taiwan Straits.

China still considers Taiwan an integral part of its territory and does not rule out its forcible return if it declares its independence. Mainland China and Taiwan have been rival authorities since the end of China’s 1949 civil war.

The United States, which recognizes China at the diplomatic level and not Taiwan, remains the main military ally of the island.

In March, Taiwan asked the United States to provide new warplanes. But since 2002, Washington has rejected similar requests, fearing a hostile reaction from Beijing.

This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for VOP from different countries around the world – edited and published by VOP staff in our newsroom.

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