Tai­wan warns against ‘panic’ as China ship en­ters strait

Manila Times - - WORLD REPORT - AFP

TAIPEI: China’s only air­craft car­rier has en­tered the Tai­wan Strait in a highly sym­bolic show of strength, but Tai­wan in­sisted Wed­nes­day there was no

Bei­jing has upped its mil­i­tary drills near the is­land in re­cent weeks af­ter be­ing in­censed by a con­grat­u­la­tory phone call from Tai­wan Pres­i­dent Tsai Ing-wen to US Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump, and by a sub­se­quent tran­sit stop by Tsai in the US.

China con­sid­ers Tai­wan a break into its fold. The US is the is­land’s most pow­er­ful ally and main arms diplo­matic re­la­tions since rec­og­niz­ing Bei­jing in 1979.

The Liaon­ing air­craft car­rier has not en­tered Tai­wanese wa­ters but the is­land’s air de­fense zone, the de­fense min­istry said.

Tai­wanese me­dia said the F-16 fighter jets and other air­craft were dis­patched Tues­day night to mon­i­tor the Chi­nese car­rier group but the de­fense min­istry would

“The mil­i­tary is mon­i­tor­ing the whole sit­u­a­tion and will act as nec­es­sary. We urge Tai­wan’s peo­ple to be at ease,” it said in a state­ment.

panic,” said the chair­woman of Tai­wan’s Main­land Af­fairs Coun­cil re­la­tion­ship with Bei­jing.

“The na­tional se­cu­rity coun­cil has a good grasp of the sit­u­a­tion. We are do­ing what is nec­es­sary,” Chang Hsiao-yueh told re­porters at an end

ca­pa­bil­i­ties to de­fend our coun­try’s safety,” she added.

‘Re­ac­tive mea­sures’

Liaon­ing are “sym­bolic” rather than any real mil­i­tary threat.

The Liaon­ing has been car­ry­ing and al­ready passed south of Tai­wan last month.

It en­tered the south­west of Tai­wan’s GMT), the de­fense min­istry said,

along the main­land’s coast, the min­istry added.

a tran­sit to Cen­tral Amer­ica de­spite protests from Bei­jing.

She stopped in Hous­ton on Satur­day and met with Repub­li­can Se­na­tor Ted Cruz dur­ing her stay, which was slammed by Bei­jing as an at­tempt to “un­der­mine China-US re­la­tions.”

- ras, Nicaragua, Gu­atemala, and El diplo­matic re­la­tions with Tai­wan in­stead of with Bei­jing.

bol­ster ties with al­lies, her US stop spec­u­la­tion she may make con­tact with Trump and his team.

Tsai has faced a mount­ing back­lash from Bei­jing since she has re­fused to rec­og­nize that Tai­wan is part of “one China.”

MAC’s Chang said Wed­nes­day that mea­sures” against mil­i­tary, diplo­matic and eco­nomic ac­tions by China since Tsai came to power.

the hopes of peo­ple on both sides to main­tain peace­ful and sta­ble as free ex­change and in­ter­ac­tions,” she added.

AT SEA Liaon­ing, China’s only air­craft car­rier.

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