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Taiwan has scrambled fighter jets and naval vessels to its western coast in response to what it called “irrational actions” by the Chinese military.
The move, announced by the Taiwan Defense Ministry on Tuesday, follows a series of Chinese military exercises near the island. China has ramped up its military activities near the self-governing island in recent weeks, including sending several fighter jets over the median line of the Taiwan Strait.
The ministry said the Chinese military's “irrational actions” have “seriously threatened” the regional security situation and is “unacceptable.”
In response, the ministry said Taiwan's Air Force scrambled fighter jets and the Navy sent ships to the western coast of the island to monitor Chinese military activity and “safeguard national security.”
The Taiwanese military has also been on high alert since the Chinese military crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait last week. Taiwan reiterated its stance that it will defend itself if attacked by China.
The island's government has accused Beijing of trying to intimidate Taiwan, which it claims is a part of China. Beijing has denied the claims and said its military activities are for defensive purposes.
The tensions between China and Taiwan have been escalating since the Chinese military's incursion into the Taiwan Strait last week. The United States has expressed its support for Taiwan, while China has accused the U.S. of interfering in its internal affairs.
The U.S. State Department said Tuesday that it is “deeply concerned” about the Chinese military's activities near Taiwan and urged Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure against the island.
The U.S. has also made it clear that it will continue to stand with Taiwan in the face of Chinese aggression.
The escalating tensions between Taiwan and China have raised concerns among the international community over the potential for a conflict in the region.