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China Buzzes Taiwan Strait Again, Minister Decries ‘Disinformation’ About Safety

Chinese fighter jets again crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait on Tuesday, as a senior Taiwanese official decried “annoying disinformation” about how safe the island is given the mounting tensions with Beijing.

Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory despite the island’s strong objections, has over the past three years reported almost daily missions by Chinese military aircraft nearby, and since last August, regular crossings of the median line that used to serve as an unofficial boundary.

Taiwan’s defence ministry said on Tuesday morning that eight Chinese fighters had crossed the median line and four Chinese warships also joined a “joint combat readiness patrol”.

It is the responsibility of all parties to maintain security and stability, and any “provocative behaviour” is not in the interests of the region, the ministry added.

China practised precision strikes and blockading the island in war games around it in April after Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen met U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy in Los Angeles.

Despite China’s frequent military activities, there has been no sign of public alarm in Taiwan and life has carried on as normal.

Speaking to reporters in Taipei, Taiwan deputy foreign minister Roy Lee said one of the reasons the government wanted foreign lawmakers, officials and academics to visit was to see the situation on the ground.

“A lot of colleagues and friends outside of Taiwan are subject to this annoying disinformation campaign. They have a mismatched conception and understanding about the situation in Taiwan,” he said.

“We are confident that when they are here they will see Taiwan is very calm; we are not provoking or making any dangerous movements. On the other hand we are demonstrating a very high level of resilience against China’s intimidation and threats.”

As Lee spoke, Tsai met a delegation led by U.S. Representative Kevin Hern, who leads the Republican Study Committee (RSC), the latest in a string of such visits to Taipei.

“Support for Taiwan as an independent and sovereign nation has been one of the founding principles of the RSC,” Hern told Tsai.

Taiwan’s government strongly objects to China’s sovereignty claims and has vowed to defend itself if China attacks the island. (Reporting by Yimou Lee and Ben Blanchard; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Gerry Doyle)

Source : Thestar