TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) Spokesman Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光) on Wednesday (Sept. 16) described recent moves by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) as “related war training activities,” including its aircraft entering Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), which he labeled a response to the current security situation across the Taiwan Strait and “necessary actions taken to safeguard national sovereignty.”
Ma made the statement while fielding questions from reporters during a regular TAO press conference, according to CNA. The spokesman went on to declare Taiwan "an inseparable part of China’s sacred territory."
He claimed that the PLA’s actions were responding to “interference from outside powers” and “Taiwan independence separatist activities,” adding that they did not target Taiwan’s general public.
“If some people feel threatened,” he said, “it only indicates that they are attempting to hook up with outside powers to carry out separation.”
Ma went on to say that China is willing “to create a broad space for peaceful reunification,” but it will not leave any room for any form of Taiwan separatist activities. He added that China “has the resolution and capability to defeat all Taiwan independence activities in order to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity and to maintain the common interests for people on both sides of the strait.”
The PLA conducted large-scale sea and air exercises off southwestern Taiwan two days in a row on Sept. 9 and 10, at times coming only 166 kilometers from Taiwan. Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense lashed out at their Chinese counterparts at a press conference on Sept. 10, calling their actions “severe provocative behavior.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs at a later press conference described the PLA’s actions as not only a severe provocation to Taiwan but also a serious threat to regional security.