Taiwan under tension receives a visit from French senators – archyde

It’s unheard of: no less than 39 Chinese military planes, including J-16 fighter jets and H-6 bombers, entered the air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Saturday, October 2. of Taiwan, announced the defense ministry of the island, whose sovereignty China does not recognize.

The day before, Chinese National Day, 38 Chinese military planes had already entered Taiwan’s ADIZ. The previous record went back to June 15, with an incursion of 28 planes. Two days after the G7 summit called for peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.

Read also Taiwan accuses China of upping the pressure with record number of Chinese military aircraft incursions into Taiwanese skies

According to the island’s defense ministry, China carried out more than 500 such incursions during the first nine months of the year, much more than in 2020. Beijing remains discreet on the meaning of these incursions. intimidation from the People’s Liberation Army (APL), but the nationalist daily Global Times took care of the decryption: “China has moved the military parade [qu’elle effectue à l’occasion] of National Day from Tiananmen Square to Taiwan Strait. The APL has done an excellent job. It is only a matter of time before the separatist authorities in Taiwan fall. “

US State Department spokesman Ned Price said “Very concerned about the provocative military activity of the People’s Republic of China near Taiwan” and recalled that “The American commitment to Taiwan is solid as a rock”.

Pressure from the Chinese Ambassador to France

In this tense context, a mission from the French Senate is expected on Tuesday, October 5, in the island. Led by Alain Richard, president of the Senate-Taiwan exchange and study group, this delegation will notably meet the president of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen. According to their leader, French senators will not participate in the ceremonies marking the island’s national holiday on October 10, even if it will not leave until the next day.

Exceptionally, the senators were exempted from carrying out a quarantine, but they will travel within a “Diplomatic bubble”. Former socialist defense minister, current senator of La République en Marche, Alain Richard affirms that his displacement is taking place “In close consultation with the Quai d’Orsay”. It does not specify whether it is the bearer of a message from the French government.

This single visit has the gift of irritating the Chinese authorities. If the senatorial group has already visited Taiwan twice, in 2015 and 2018, this trip, initially planned for March, had given rise to a controversy with the Chinese ambassador to France, Lu Shaye. The latter had written to Alain Richard, asking him to cancel this trip; the interested party replied that “This visit was not contradictory with the recognition of Beijing by France” and “Multiple democratic countries have the same type of relations with Taiwan”.

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