US warns China against force after Taiwan incursion

4 April, 2019 12:00 AM printer

WASHINGTON: The United States on Tuesday warned Beijing against the use of “force or coercion” on Taiwan after the self-ruling island said that two Chinese fighter jets crossed a traditionally respected maritime line dividing the two sides, reports AFP.

“The United States opposes unilateral actions by any party that are aimed at altering the status quo, including anything related to force or coercion,” State Department spokesman Robert Palladino told reporters.

“Beijing should stop its coercive efforts and resume dialogue with the democratically elected administration” in Taipei, he said.

Beijing—which considers Taiwan part of its territory awaiting reunification—has stepped up its jet and warship crossings near the island since the 2016 election of Beijing-skeptic President Tsai Ing-wen.  

But going a step further, Taiwan’s defense ministry said that two Chinese J-11 fighter jets took the highly unusual step Sunday of crossing the median line in the Taiwan Strait that divides the mainland from the island.