In response to America's deployment of a carrier strike group led by the USS Theodore Roosevelt into the South China Sea, over a dozen Chinese aircraft including six nuclear weapons-capable strategic bombers were launched into Taiwanese airspace last weekend in the latest show of aggression from Beijing.
Asserting "independence means war," Chinese Defense Ministry Spokesman Wu Qian stated the recent expansion of military activities and incursions into Taiwanese airspace "are necessary actions to address the current security situation" in the region, referring to the the People's Republic of China (PRC)'s claim over the island of Taiwan, also known as the Republic of China (ROC).
Referencing earlier claims made by PLA leadership, Qian warned Taiwan and the globe that "Those who play with fire will burn themselves, and 'Taiwan independence' means war."
The PLA spokesman additionally stated the PLA navy will be conducting drills in the Gulf of Tonkin, in a clear challenge to the USS Theodore and its strike group patrolling nearby.
The statements come after Beijing's passing of a new bill authorizing the Chinese Coast Guard to use "all necessary means", including weapons against foreign vessels and to demolish structures erected in disputed waters, reports the Economic Times.
While carrying on the former Trump administration's designation of the PRC as a "strategic competitor," the Biden administration has announced their strategy towards China as one of "strategic patience," a strategy touted by the Obama administration.
Former President Obama labeled the PRC as nothing more than a "strategic partner." It is unclear whether President Biden will continue the policies carried out during his vice presidency or whether the new administration will favor the Trump era's confrontation to China's aggression.
"Emily Horne, spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, said the US commitment to Taiwan was "rock-solid" after the island's de facto ambassador in Washington, Hsiao Bi-khim, attended Mr Biden's swearing-in on Wednesday," writes Zero Hedge.
In addition to the PLA's incursions into Taiwanese territory, China has been stationing tens of thousands of troops on along the Indian-China border, along what is known as the "line of actual control." Tensions between the nations have developed over the last several decades as China continues to encroach upon Indian territory, employing piecemeal tactics to capture small chunks of Indian territory all along the line of demarcation.
The situation has resulted in a stand-off between PLA and Indian troops despite nine recent meetings between local military commanders in addition to dialogues between high level foreign and defense ministers, writes ABC News.
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