U.S. voices concern after Chinese aircraft circle near Taiwan again

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A Taiwanese F-16 (left) keeps a close eye on a Chinese H-6K (right) near Taiwan Friday.

A Taiwanese F-16 (left) keeps a close eye on a Chinese H-6K (right) near Taiwan Friday. (By Central News Agency)

Washington (CNA) - The U.S. State Department on Friday again expressed concern over China's lack of military transparency and reiterated its opposition to attempts to change the cross-Taiwan Strait status quo, following a fresh incident of Chinese military aircraft circling near Taiwan.

"The United States remains concerned by China's lack of transparency about its growing military capabilities and associated strategic intentions," a State Department spokesperson said in an email response to Taiwanese media.

"The United States opposes unilateral actions by any party aimed at altering the status quo, including any resort to force or other forms of coercion."

The spokesperson added that America has a deep and abiding interest in cross-strait peace and stability and encourages Beijing and Taipei to engage in constructive dialogue that seeks a peaceful resolution of differences acceptable to the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.

China has increased its military activity near Taiwan over the past year, widely seen as part of Beijing's intimidating efforts aimed at stepping up pressure on the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen, who has refused to accept the "1992 consensus" that essentially implies Taiwan and mainland China are a part of one country.

In the latest incident on Friday of a rise in Chinese military exercises near Taiwan, China's Air Force conducted a long-range drill that had aircraft circling near Taiwan in opposite directions, according to information released by the Chinese and Taiwanese military.

The exercise featured such aircraft as the Xian H-6K bomber, Su-35 and J-11 fighters, the Shaanxi Y-8 transport plane, early warning aircraft Kj-2000 and Tu-154 electronic surveillance aircraft, but neither Taipei nor Beijing disclosed the number of planes involved. (By Chiang Chin-yeh and Y.F. Low)