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56 warplanes of China’s PLA enter Taiwan’s air identification zone

Asia56 warplanes of China's PLA enter Taiwan’s air identification zone

Fifty-six fighter planes of China’s PLA have entered Taiwan’s air identification zone says Taiwan’s National Defense Ministry.

China flew fifty-six J-16 fighter jets towards Taiwan on Monday in the largest show of force on record, maintaining the three days of continued military harassment against the self-ruled island, Taiwan which is China’s second massive display of force in as many days.

The first sortie of fifty-two jets included 34 J-16 fighter jets and 12 H-6 bombers, among other aircraft, according to Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense. Later, four more Chinese J-16s flew toward the southwestern part of Taiwan’s air defense identification zone — a buffer outside a country’s airspace.

The Taiwanese air force pushed its fighter planes and monitored the movement of the Chinese warplanes on its air defense system, the ministry said.

China claims democratically ruled Taiwan as its own territory and attempts to bring Taiwan under its control by force if needed. It refuses to recognize the island’s government and has increasingly tried to isolate the independence-leaning administration of President Tsai Ing-wen.

Experts have called the flights and other military maneuvers by Beijing gray zone warfare, or any type of military action short of direct combat. Many downplay the moves of China and say they do not believe the display of force and aggressive rhetoric, much of which is repetitive, will lead to war.

However, it is a matter of huge concern obviously for most nations and Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said in an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corp. broadcast on Monday, “We are very concerned that China is going to launch a war against Taiwan at some point, even though the threat may not be imminent at this point.”

Taiwan and China split during a civil war in 1949, and Beijing opposes Taiwan’s involvement in international organizations. Taiwan announced on Sept. 23 that it had applied to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, a week after China submitted its own application to join the trade pact.

Starting last Friday, on China’s National Day, the People’s Liberation Army sent thirty-sight fighter planes into the area and thirty-nine aircraft on Saturday, previously the most in a single day since Taiwan began releasing reports on the flights in September 2020. China sent an additional sixteen planes on Sunday.

The latest maneuvers by the Chinese air force bring the total to 814 flights.

In Washington on Monday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said: “We remain concerned by the People’s Republic of China’s provocative military activity near Taiwan, which is destabilizing, risks miscalculations and undermines regional peace and stability. We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic and economic pressure and coercion against Taiwan.”

Responding to a similar statement over the weekend from the U.S. State Department, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs had said that the U.S. selling weapons to Taiwan as well as ships navigating the Taiwan Strait were “provocative action that harmed U.S-China relations.”

“China will take all necessary countermeasures and resolutely crush any ‘Taiwan independence’ plot,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in a statement Monday night.

The latest flights have come in separate groups with daytime and nighttime incursions. The nighttime flights are of note, analysts say, because they’re more challenging due to reduced visibility.

“They have the kind of confidence to operate at night,” said Chen-Yi Tu, a researcher at the Institute for National Defense and Security Research in Taiwan.

The picture below is released by the Taiwan Presidential Office of an incident that occurred on September 15, 2021.

 

This photo is released by the Taiwan Presidential Office, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, center, who speaks with military personnel near aircraft parked on a highway in Jiadong, Taiwan, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021. Four military aircraft landed on the highway and took off again on Wednesday as part of Taiwan's five-day Han Guang military exercise designed to prepare the island's forces for an attack by China, which claims Taiwan as part of its own territory. (Taiwan Presidential Office via AP)
This photo is released by the Taiwan Presidential Office, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, center, who speaks with military personnel near aircraft parked on a highway in Jiadong, Taiwan, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021. Four military aircraft landed on the highway and took off again on Wednesday as part of Taiwan’s five-day Han Guang military exercise designed to prepare the island’s forces for an attack by China, which claims Taiwan as part of its own territory. (Taiwan Presidential Office via AP)

Notably, Indians are worried about the 100 Chinese homes built recently in a village set up in Arunachal Pradesh, news released by the US defense report, but the Government of India is apparently silent about and maintains hushed secrecy about the increasing invasion.

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