Taiwan Calls for Security Cooperation With Australia As Chinese Jets Perform Frequent Fly-bys
© AP PhotoIn this photo taken and released Friday, May 25, 2018, by the Taiwan Ministry of National Defense, a Taiwanese Air Force fighter aircraft, left, flies near a Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) bomber that reportedly flew over the Luzon Strait south of Taiwan.
© AP Photo
More than 100 Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan's defence system identification zone over the past three days and have clearly increased the number of fly-bys which are being carried out by the People's Liberation Army's Air Force.
Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu has called for greater cooperation between the island and Australia as the alleged threat from China appears to be increasing. The minister said that "like-minded" countries should join forces to limit China's territorial ambitions in the Asia-Pacific region, naming Australia and the US as potential candidates for cooperation.
"We would like to engage in security or intelligence exchanges with other like-minded partners, Australia included, so Taiwan is better prepared to deal with the war situation."
Wu added that Taipei enjoys "very good" relations with Australia, which - like many foreign states - does not recognise Taiwan as a sovereign nation.
Despite being a self-governed island, China claims Taiwan as a breakaway, but inalienable part of its territory. Although some countries officially uphold the One China policy, others, such as Australia and the US, remain neutral, recognising neither Beijing's claims, nor Taiwan's.
Taipei earlier praised the creation of AUKUS – a security pact between the US, UK and Australia – for its planned efforts to "defend the Indo-Pacific". Two members of the pact, the US and Australia recently vowed to "strengthen ties with Taiwan", despite having no diplomatic relations with the island.
18 September 2021, 03:51 GMT
Taiwan's calls for greater cooperation with Australia also come in the face of the increased number of missions the Chinese Air Force has made at the edge of the island-controlled airspace in recent days. According to Taipei reports, some 38 PLA aircraft were detected on 1 October, 39 jets and anti-submarine aircraft were spotted on Saturday and 12 more on 3 October.
The fly-bys of Chinese aircraft come as tensions rise between Beijing and Washington - one of the island's main allies - over the regular US "freedom of navigation missions" carried out in the Taiwan Strait without China's consent. Beijing cautioned the White House against continuing to send warships to the region since such actions might provoke an incident and possibly an armed confrontation between the two countries' navies.