Rubio says Chinese incursions will not 'scare US' into dropping commitments to Taiwan

Rubio says Chinese incursions into Taiwan air zone are reminder of need to 'strengthen Taiwan's ability to defend itself'

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U.S. Senator Marco Rubio.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- In response to news that Chinese fighter jets crossed over the Taiwan Strait median line on Sunday, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio today on Twitter said that such incursions would not 'scare U.S.' into dropping its commitments to Taiwan and it is a reminder of the need to "strengthen Taiwan's ability to defend itself."

At 11 a.m. on Sunday, two PLAAF J-11 fighter jets crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait into Taiwanese air space, coming within 185 kilometers of Taiwan. The Taiwan Air Force swiftly responded by scrambling several of its own fighter jets to intercept the Chinese warplanes.

A 12-minute-long standoff then ensued between fighter jets of the two countries, before the Chinese warplanes finally retreated back to their side, according to local media reports.

At a military ceremony on Monday (April 1), Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) protested the PLAAF’s provocative action and admonished Beijing. She called on the country not to intentionally provoke Taiwan, create trouble, nor challenge the cross-strait status quo.

Later on Monday, Trump's national security adviser John Bolton took to Twitter to say that China's aggressive military actions would not "win any hearts and minds in Taiwan," but would instead "strengthen the resolve of people everywhere who value democracy." He then emphasized that the U.S. commitments to the Taiwan Relations Act "are clear."

On Tuesday, Rubio responded to Bolton's tweet by saying that China's incursions into Taiwan's airspace would not "scare the U.S. into abandoning its commitments." He added that Beijing's military aggression only serves to remind the U.S. of the need to further bolster "Taiwan's ability to defend itself."