Determined to deal with ‘reckless’ bully across the strait: Taiwan

Washington: Days after accusing China of breaching the median line in the Taiwan Strait, Taiwan on Tuesday stated it is “determined to deal with any reckless military adventure by the bully across the Taiwan Strait,” according to the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Apparently referring to China, the ministry made this statement while thanking the United States for its support during what is being hailed as a “rare incursion” by media channels.

“Your unwavering friendship and support are treasured, @AmbJohnBolton. We’re determined to deal with any reckless military adventure by the bully across the #Taiwan Strait. Provocation only makes us stronger & as you said: ‘Surrender is not an option’,” the Taiwanese ministry tweeted.

This comes as China has upped its calls for reunification with the island nation, which has been de facto independent from the mainland since 1949’s civil war.

Meanwhile, the United States on Monday (local time) backed Taiwan’s protest against China, after two J-11 fighter jets crossed the median line on March 31.

“Chinese military provocations won’t win any hearts or minds in Taiwan, but they will strengthen the resolve of people everywhere who value democracy. The Taiwan Relations Act and our commitment are clear,” USA’s National Security Advisor John Bolton tweeted.

Taiwan alleged that China violated an agreement by crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait. Sunday’s apparent breach led to a tense 10-minute standoff between jets belonging to the two countries, as Taiwan’s military scrambled fighter jets to deal with the incursion, according to local media.

“At 11 a.m., March 31, 2 PLAAF J-11 jets violated the long-held tacit agreement by crossing the median line of the #Taiwan Strait. It was an intentional, reckless & provocative action. We’ve informed regional partners & condemn #China for such behaviour,” Taiwan’s foreign ministry tweeted.

To deal with the threats from across the border, Taiwan has submitted a request to its long-time ally, the United States, for purchasing F-16 jets and M-1 tanks to enhance its military capabilities, according to its President Tsai Ing-wen. This has been condemned by China, which views Taiwan as a part of its internal affairs.