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Taiwan president warns China against playing with fire

Tsai Ing-wen calls on Beijing to 'exercise restraint' in Taiwan Strait

Tsai Ing-wen. (Facebook, Military Spokesman photo)

Tsai Ing-wen. (Facebook, Military Spokesman photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Wednesday (Oct. 6) warned China against further aggressive military actions that could spark a war in the Taiwan Strait.

During a weekly meeting of the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) Central Standing Committee which was held online on Wednesday, Tsai noted that Chinese warplanes have been harassing the southwest sector of Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ). Tsai said that in response to these intrusions, Taiwan's military has dispatched planes to intercept these aircraft.

The president said that changes in the regional situation have become a topic of concern for the international community. She said that China's actions have "severely undermined regional peace and stability."

Tsai then said, "I am warning the Beijing authorities to be sure to exercise restraint and avoid actions that could spark a fire."

On Friday (Oct. 1) during China's national day, a record 38 Chinese military aircraft violated Taiwan's ADIZ, though this mark was quickly surpassed with 39 more People's Liberation Army Aircraft (PLAAF) planes the next day. An additional 16 PLAAF aircraft appeared on Sunday (Oct. 3), and another record-shattering 56 planes breached the zone on Monday (Oct. 4), bringing the four-day total to 149 warplanes.