Former United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday called on the U.S. to stand with Taiwan after 19 Chinese military aircraft, a majority of them being fighter jets, flew into Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) early Sunday.
"The United States must always stand with Taiwan and for freedom," Pompeo said in a tweet, which also included a Bloomberg report on the Chinese warplanes' Sunday incursion.
In the same vein, former U.S. ambassador to Japan and incumbent senator William Hagerty also shared the same Bloomberg report in his twitter account on Sunday.
"Communist China & other adversaries will continue to probe the resolve of the U.S. & our allies after Biden's debacle in Afghanistan," he tweeted.
"The Senate must press the Biden Admin to adopt a stronger posture to prevent foreign aggression," Hagerty said.
The remarks made by Pompeo and Hagerty came amid concerns that the U.S.' withdrawal from Afghanistan, which led to the country's takeover by the Taliban, had damaged Washington's credibility overseas.
The events in Afghanistan have led some U.S. allies to question whether Washington would come to their defense in the event of a crisis.
Asked to comment on Beijing's latest aggressive action toward Taipei, the U.S. White House National Security Council (NSC) reaffirmed Washington's commitment to Taipei in an email reply to CNA.
"The U.S. defense relationship with Taiwan is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), as it has been for the past 40 years. We will uphold our commitment under TRA, we will continue to support Taiwan's self-defense, and we will continue to oppose any unilateral changes to the status quo," a NSC spokesperson said.
"We continue to have an abiding interest in peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and we consider this central to the security and stability of the broader Indo-Pacific region," the spokesperson added.
According to Taiwan's defense ministry, Sunday's incursion marks the fourth time the People's Liberation Army (PLA) has sent aircraft to Taiwan's ADIZ in September alone.
All of the aircraft were spotted southwest of Taiwan, between the main island and the Taiwanese-held Dongsha Islands, a chart in the defense ministry's report showed.
That airspace is considered part of Taiwan's ADIZ, an area declared by a country to allow it to identify, locate and control approaching foreign aircraft, but such zones are not considered territorial airspace.
The Taiwan Air Force responded by scrambling planes to monitor the Chinese aircraft, issuing radio warnings, and mobilizing air defense assets, before the PLA aircraft left the nation's ADIZ, the ministry said.
It has become an almost daily routine for Chinese warplanes to fly into Taiwan's ADIZ over the past two years as cross-Taiwan Strait relations deteriorate after President Tsai Ing-wen (???) assumed office in May 2016.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel