Bloomberg Quicktake: Now 09.21.2020

China’s Air Force Releases Video as Tensions with Taiwan Rise

China’s PLA Air Force released a video on Saturday showing H-6 bombers making a simulated strike on a runway that looked similar to one at Anderson Air Force Base on Guam, a key staging area for any U.S. support for Taiwan.

The video comes after the visit last week by U.S. Undersecretary of State Keith Krach. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen hosted a senior U.S. diplomat and a Japanese delegation in Taipei last week in the latest show of international support for her government. 

China is ratcheting up the risk of military confrontation in the Taiwan Strait, as Beijing seeks to deter Taipei from continuing to deepen ties with the U.S. and other like-minded democracies.

People’s Liberation Army aircraft repeatedly breached the median line between Taiwan and the Chinese mainland last week, in the latest of a series of military exercises in the area.

The Chinese pilots signaled a willingness to continue the practice, telling Taiwanese personnel who attempted to warn them away that “there is no median line,” the Taipei-based China Times newspaper reported Friday, citing unnamed military officials.

“The risks of war are rising considerably, and redrawing the map over the median line in the Taiwan Strait is a very obvious step by Beijing to not only raise the pressure, but also justify use of force,” said Malcolm Davis, a former defense adviser to the government and now a senior analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute in Canberra.

“These actions don’t help China’s international image, and they also put the Taiwanese public even more on their guard. They make the public better understand the true nature of the Chinese Communist regime and make other countries in the region understand the threat China poses,” Tsai told reporters Sunday. “The Chinese Communists must restrain themselves, and not provoke.”

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