Chinese Air Force, referring to Taiwan, says it can safeguard ‘territorial integrity’

BEIJING (Reuters) – China will “resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity”, an air force spokesman said on Sunday, referring to Taiwan, as tensions mount on the island autonomous.

Air force spokesman Shen Jinke was quoted by state media as saying at a military airshow that the air force has many types of planes capable of encircling “the precious island of our homeland”.

Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, number three in the presidential line of succession, announced on Friday that she was embarking on a trip to Asia. She did not mention Taiwan, but speculation of a visit there has intensified in recent days, fueling tensions beyond the Taiwan Strait.

Beijing claims to democratically govern Taiwan as a Chinese province.

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday warned his US counterpart Joe Biden that Washington should abide by the one-China principle and that “those who play with fire shall perish”.

Shen said on Sunday, “The Air Force has the firm will, full confidence and sufficient capability to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

White House national security spokesman John Kirby said on Friday that the United States had seen no evidence of impending Chinese military activity against Taiwan.

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