Amid presidential campaign in Taiwan, China sailed its newly commissioned aircraft career into the Taiwan Strait on December 26 to flex its muscle in the region. Taiwan’s Defence Ministry, in a statement, said that the aircraft carrier Shandong, accompanied by the frigate, sailed from North to South via the Taiwan Strait.
“The Ministry of National Defense emphasizes that the National Army uses a joint ISR system to master the monitoring and response throughout the process to ensure national security and maintain regional peace and stability,” said the ministry.
Calling it a military threat, Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted about the incident and said that Taiwan is determined to defend itself against such looming danger. Taiwan’s presidential office also released a statement saying it is the responsibility and duty for the two sides across the strait to maintain peace and stability and strive for the well-being of the people.
There it goes again! #China's 002 aircraft carrier steamed through the #TaiwanStrait & the Ministry of National Defense monitored it every step of the way. Military threats like this only toughen #Taiwan's determination to defend itself & preserve regional peace & stability. JW— 外交部 Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ROC (Taiwan) 🇹🇼 (@MOFA_Taiwan) December 26, 2019
Taiwan considers itself sovereign while China claims that the wayward province is Beijing’s territory under its one-China policy. Chinese President Xi Jinping has asserted, through his speeches, that China reserves the right to use force in order to bring Taiwan under its control but Beijing prefers a “peaceful reunification”. China’s latest move can affect the voting pattern of Taiwan’s presidential election since Tsai Ing-wen’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is pro-independence. Tsai has been trying to push an anti-infiltration bill in the parliament ahead of the elections scheduled on January 11, 2020.
Tsai said that several other countries have already passed such legislation to prevent China’s interference in their internal affairs. She opined that Taiwan needs the legislation more than any other country as it is in direct conflict with China and faces threats of infiltration. But Kuomintang has reportedly criticised the bill and accused the DPP of using it as a political tool to gain votes in the upcoming elections by painting the former as agents of Chinese Communist Party.