Taiwan flies fighter jets to warn away 29 Chinese aircraft in its air.
In the latest flare-up in tensions and the greatest intrusion since late May, Taiwan scrambled on Tuesday to scare away 29 Chinese aircraft in its air defense zone, including bombers that flew south of the island and into the Pacific.
Taiwan, which China claims as its territory, has protested about Chinese air force operations near the democratically administered island in recent years, particularly in the southern area of its air defense identification zone, or ADIZ, close to the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands.
China’s recurrent military exercises in the vicinity are referred to in Taiwan as “grey zone” warfare since they are intended to wear down Taiwanese troops by forcing them to scramble repeatedly and test Taiwanese responses.
According to Taiwan’s defense ministry, the newest Chinese mission featured 17 fighters and six H-6 bombers, electronic warfare, early warning, antisubmarine, and aerial refueling aircraft.
According to a chart given by the government, several of the planes flew northeast of the Pratas.
However, the bombers flew through the Bashi Channel, which divides Taiwan from the Philippines, and into the Pacific before returning to China along the same path.
Taiwan despatched combat aircraft to warn of the Chinese planes. At the same time, missile systems kept an eye on them, according to the ministry, which used conventional language for its response.
It was the worst invasion since Taiwan detected 30 Chinese planes in its air defense identification zone on May 30. The greatest so far this year happened on Jan. 23, when 39 planes were involved.
China, which has previously said that such actions are exercises intended to safeguard the country’s sovereignty, did not respond immediately.
On Wednesday, Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said that the Chinese military’s large-scale drill demonstrated that China’s military threat is “more real than before.”
“But there’s no way #Taiwan will give in to the huge bully and hand away from its sovereignty and democracy. There’s no way! “Wu said this on Twitter.
In an email to Reuters, a US State Department official said Beijing should “stop its military, diplomatic, and economic coercion and intimidation towards Taiwan.”
On Friday, China unveiled its third aircraft carrier, the Fujian, which is named after the province that borders Taiwan.
Last month, China’s military claimed it staged a drill surrounding Taiwan as a “serious warning” against “collusion” with the US.
That happened after US President Joe Biden enraged China by foreshadowing a shift in the US policy of “strategic ambiguity” on Taiwan by stating that if China attacked the island, the US would intervene militarily.
China has increased its pressure on Taiwan to recognize its claims to sovereignty. The administration of Taipei claims to seek peace, but it would defend itself if attacked.
No guns have been fired, and the Chinese planes have been flying in Taiwan’s ADIZ, a larger region that Taiwan monitors and patrols to allow it more time to react to any threats.
Eric is a professional news editor, writer, and blogger for the last 10 years. He is working with NewsGater as an off-beat news editor cum writer.