Taipei takes out its big fighter plane and Washington sets foot in the strait

Did you miss the latest events regarding the renewed tension around Taiwan? Do not panic, 20 Minutes takes stock every day, since the visit of Nancy Pelosi, American number three and president of the House of Representatives, which has largely cooled relations between China and the United States. Who did what ? Who said what? Where are we ? The answer below:

The fact of the day

On Wednesday, Taiwan showcased its most advanced fighter jet, the American-made, missile-equipped F-16V. The F-16V fighter – an improved and much more sophisticated version of other F-16s, which date from the 1990s – was loaded with an American-made anti-ship missile as part of a “combat readiness” exercise on an air base in Hualien County, in the east of its territory.

Six F-16Vs, including two armed with missiles, subsequently took off for rare night reconnaissance and training missions, according to the Taiwan Air Force. In November, a first squadron of F-16Vs had been deployed by the Taiwanese air force. The deal to deliver such devices was endorsed by then-US President Donald Trump’s government, and his successor Joe Biden has maintained similar support in Taipei.

sentence of the day

“Facing the threat of recent military exercises by Chinese communist forces, we have remained vigilant while establishing the concept of ‘battlefields anywhere and training at any time’ (…) to ensure national security. »

These are the words of the Taiwanese air force which, in a press release published on Wednesday, assured to live under the constant threat of a military intervention from China. A China that claims its sovereignty over Taiwan, which it “is ready to seize by force if necessary”.

The number of the day

300. This is the number of test firings of missiles already operated by the United States. Washington fired one more successfully on Tuesday. According to the US Air Force, the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) was equipped with a warhead that, in wartime, could carry a nuclear bomb. He traveled some 6,760 km before sinking at sea in the Marshall Islands.

“This routine test is intended to demonstrate that the United States’ nuclear deterrent is safe. There have already been more than 300 such tests, and it is not due to current world events, ”assured the American Air Force. And to add that this test had been postponed twice so as not to aggravate tensions around Ukraine first, and Taiwan more recently.

The trend of the day

Washington will strengthen its trade relations with Taiwan and carry out new air and sea crossings in the strait, in response to China’s “provocative” actions. An “ambitious roadmap” on trade will be unveiled “in the coming days”, said Kurt Campbell, White House coordinator for Asia-Pacific. This adviser to Joe Biden claimed that Beijing had used Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit to Taipei to “launch a pressure campaign against Taiwan to change the status quo, jeopardizing peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait”. Taiwan”.

This senior American official also assured that the Biden administration “will continue to strengthen (its) ties with Taiwan, in particular by continuing to advance our economic and trade relations”.

American ships and planes will also make new passages in the Taiwan Strait “in the coming weeks”, added Kurt Campbell. US forces “will continue to fly, sail or operate wherever international law allows”, he continued, without specifying the nature of the deployments made in the strait or their timetable.

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