Since October 1, more than 100 Chinese military aircraft have moved provocatively through the air defense identification zones of nearby Taiwan — just over 100 miles to the east. Those military maneuvers serve only to create uncertainty in a part of the world where the U.S. wants to see stability and peace, Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby said.
“The PRC (Peoples Republic of China) has stepped up efforts to intimidate and pressure Taiwan and other allies and partners, including increasing their military activities conducted in the vicinity of Taiwan, the East China Sea and the South China Sea, which we believe are destabilizing and only increase the risk of miscalculation,” Kirby said during a briefing October 13 at the Pentagon.
Despite the recent Chinese show of force, Kirby said the U.S. remains committed to keeping the Taiwan Strait a peaceful region.
“We will continue to support a peaceful resolution of cross-strait issues, consistent with the wishes and best interests of the people of Taiwan, and our commitment to Taiwan is rock solid and contributes to the maintenance of peace and stability across the strait and within the region,” Kirby said.
Kirby also said that the U.S. is interested in ensuring that Taiwan continues to be able to defend itself.
“We have an abiding interest in peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and that’s why we’re going to continue to assist Taiwan in maintaining a sufficient self-defense capability,” he said.
Kirby said the department would like for Beijing to honor its own commitments to peace and stability in the region.
“We’re urging Beijing to cease this military, diplomatic and economic pressure, and the coercion against … Taiwan,” he said.
Image credit: Petty Officer 3rd Class Kayliann. Arleigh-burke class guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd (DDG 100) transits the Taiwan Strait during a routine transit, Aug. 27. Kidd is deployed supporting Commander, Task Force (CTF) 71/Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the Navy’s largest forward-deployed DESRON and U.S. 7th Fleet’s principal surface force.