- The Washington Times - Monday, September 28, 2020

The majority of people who live in Taiwan fear that a recent uptick in military tension between Taiwan and China could lead to war, a new poll revealed Monday.

The Global Times, a newspaper known as a Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece, reported that Taiwan’s United Daily News conducted a survey that revealed 61% of Taiwanese people believe the two sides are locked in a “highly competitive situation.” The survey found that 24% believe that relations between Taiwan and China are easing.

Of those surveyed, a record 54% said that military tensions had worsened while just 18% felt that military tensions had eased.

The survey’s findings come amid escalating Chinese military activity near Taiwan. On Monday morning, Taiwanese media said a Chinese military aircraft had entered Taiwan’s “air defense identification zone” for the 13th consecutive day, the publication reported.

It also comes a week after 18 Chinese planes crossed the disputed midline of the Taiwan Strait, causing Taiwan to deploy fighter jets and a missile defense system. The incident occurred as U.S. officials participated in talks with Taiwanese officials in Taipei. Chinese officials had earlier claimed that Taiwan was colluding with the U.S. and condemned the meeting.

China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory, has regularly reacted with a special concern to signs that the U.S. was bolstering the independence of Taiwan.

The incident marked the second time in a month that China had sent military aircraft across the midline of the Taiwan Strait.

Last month, China briefly deployed two fighter jets across the disputed territory shortly ahead of a visit between U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.

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