Beijing, Sep 24 (EFE).- Taiwan said Friday that 24 Chinese combat aircraft exceeded the Air Defense Identification Zone after the island requested to join the Progressive and Comprehensive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, something Beijing “categorically” opposes.
According to Taiwan’s defense officials, there were two incursions Thursday on the island’s southwest by J-16 and J-11 fighters, KJ-500 radar-planes, Y-8 reconnaissance planes and H-6K bombers.
The island’s Air Force issued radio warnings and mobilized units until the Chinese planes left the Taiwanese identification zone, which is not defined or regulated by any international treaty.
The number of Chinese military aircraft entering the zone has risen in recent months, according to Taiwan, with this latest incursion coming after the island applied Wednesday to join the partnership, one of the world’s largest trade agreements which China asked to join last week.
Taiwanese Trade Representative John Deng said Thursday that Taiwan seeks to join the partnership before China does, as the island would otherwise face difficulties joining.
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen called Thursday on social media for Japan’s support to join the partnership, which came into force in December 2018 and includes 11 countries – among them, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand.
China, which claims Taiwan’s sovereignty and considers it a rebellious province and has not ruled out using force to reclaim it, “categorically” opposed Thursday that the island could join the partnership or “any treaty or international body”.
Experts cited by Chinese press said Friday that signatory countries should not “provide any type of platform” that “encourages Taiwanese independence acts”. It said Beijing must consent to the island’s inclusion in international pacts under the name of China-Taipei, as happened in 2001 when it joined the World Trade Organization.
Xiamen University expert Tang Yonghong told the Global Times newspaper that the Taiwanese request is “a sham” and that the ruling Taiwanese Democratic Progressive Party seeks “to cling to the United States and Japan to unite against China”.
“Japan could use Taiwan as a negotiating card with China to obtain revenues. Other states of the pact, such as Canada, will follow the United States. But Singapore, Vietnam or Brunei, which have close ties with China, will not challenge Beijing,” he said.
Taiwanese experts told local press Friday that Taipei’s request arrives “on time” and that the island must also overcome other obstacles to its accession, such as the its veto on the importation of Japanese products from the areas affected by the 2011 nuclear disaster. EFE