China’s Rejection of Taiwan Buffer Zone Raises Risk of Clash

China’s Rejection of Taiwan Buffer Zone Raises Risk of Clash

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 report was widely circulated by Chinese state media, with the PLA’s Eastern Theater Command responding to one post by urging citizens to “discard any illusions and prepare to fight.” The PLA Air Force separately released a video 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.