U.S. Blasts China's 'Provocative' Military Flights Over 'Rock Solid' Ally Taiwan

The U.S. has blasted China for its "provocative" military flights near Taiwan, and reiterated its commitment to Taiwan as "rock solid."

It came as Taiwan reported a record number of incursions by Chinese planes into its air defense identification zone (ADIZ) in recent days.

Taiwan's Defense Ministry said 39 aircraft entered the ADIZ on Saturday—20 during the day and another 19 at night. It followed 38 Chinese aircraft flying into the area south of the island on Friday. So far on Sunday, Taiwan has reported 16 aircraft entering the southwest ADIZ.

In a statement on Sunday, State Department spokesman Ned Price re-iterated the U.S. commitment to Taiwan, which China claims as part of its territory.

The U.S. is "very concerned by the People's Republic of China's provocative military activity near Taiwan, which is destabilizing, risks miscalculations, and undermines regional peace and stability," Price said.

An anti-China protest in Taiwan
Demonstrators hold the flags of Free Hong Kong - Revolution Now during an anti-China protest on October 1, 2021 in Taipei, Taiwan. Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images

"We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure and coercion against Taiwan.

"We have an abiding interest in peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. We will continue to assist Taiwan in maintaining a sufficient self-defense capability, and we will maintain our commitments as outlined in the Three Communiqués, the Taiwan Relations Act, and the Six Assurances."

Price added: "The U.S. commitment to Taiwan is rock solid and contributes to the maintenance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and within the region. We will continue to stand with friends and allies to advance our shared prosperity, security, and values and deepen our ties with democratic Taiwan."

Taiwan has been publicizing Chinese incursions into its air defense identification zone for 13 months, which reached a monthly high last month.

Taiwan logged 117 ADIZ incursions by Chinese military aircraft including nuclear-capable bombers, fighter jets and reconnaissance planes, as of September 30—surpassing the previous high of 107 observed in April.

16 PLA aircraft (J-16*8, SU-30*4, Y-8 ASW*2 and KJ-500 AEW&C*2) entered #Taiwan’s southwest ADIZ on October 3, 2021. Please check our official website for more information: https://t.co/j7k62hne0V pic.twitter.com/dz5emGj2d4

— 國防部 Ministry of National Defense, R.O.C. 🇹🇼 (@MoNDefense) October 3, 2021

The 38 and 39 aircraft sent on Friday and Saturday were the most in a single day since Taiwan began releasing reports on the flights, according to Taiwan's Central News Agency.

"China has been wantonly engaged in military aggression, damaging regional peace," Taiwan's premier Su Tseng-chang told reporters.

Last month, Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu warned that China has been waging a years-long "silent diplomatic war" to poach Taiwan's allies and sabotage its informal relations with other countries.

Taiwan and mainland China have been governed separately since the end of a civil war in 1949. The Communists took control of mainland China and the rival Nationalists set up a government on Taiwan.

The Chinese Communist Party marked the 72nd anniversary of its rule on Friday.