China sent 56 warplanes to Taiwan’s air defense zone

Taiwan reported that 56 Chinese military aircraft entered its air defense zone on Monday in the greatest show of force against the autonomous island and following three consecutive days of military harassment. Very attentive to what happens in Taiwan, The United States had lashed out at China on Sunday for its “provocative” and “destabilizing” military activity.. It should be remembered that Washington is the largest arms supplier to Taipei.

Since last Friday, which was its national day, China has been conducting aerial maneuvers in the vicinity of Taiwan. Beijing considers the island of 23 million people to belong to its territory and threatens to conquer it by force if necessary.. Since Xi Jinping took command of the Asian giant in 2012, Chinese military planes have stormed this air defense zone almost daily.

Nuclear capable bombers

The Taiwanese Defense Ministry indicated on Monday that 36 fighters, 12 nuclear-capable H-6 bombers and four other aircraft entered the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) from taiwan. At night, four other fighters stormed into space. The Taiwanese air force mobilized fighter jets and monitored the Chinese fleet on its radar systems.

Maps provided by the Taiwanese Ministry of Defense show that the flights of the Air Force of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army arrive in the vicinity of the island of Pratas, which sits high up in the South China Sea and is actually closer to Hong Kong than Taiwan. This island has no permanent residents, but is home to a small Taiwanese military contingent and has an airstrip. Experts point out that it is flat and that it would be difficult to defend.

This recent Chinese show of force had begun on Friday, when China National Day was commemorated, with a hitherto record incursion of 38 military aircraft. On Saturday, Taiwan denounced a new incursion of 39 planes and accused Beijing of “intimidation” and “damaging the regional peace.” “It is clear that the international community increasingly rejects these behaviors of China”Prime Minister told reporters His Tseng-chang.

America’s “concern”

The air movements led the spokesman for the United States Department of State, Ned price, to warn that Chinese activity threatens the stability of the region. “The United States is very concerned about the provocative military activity of the People’s Republic of China near Taiwan”Price said in a statement Sunday, adding: “We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic and economic pressure.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, in response to the US statement, said that it was Washington that was being provocative and undermining regional peace, with its arms sales to Taiwan and the warships that regularly sail through the Taiwanese Strait. “China resolutely opposes it and takes the necessary countermeasures,” the ministry added.

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These aerial maneuvers occurred after Last Monday, the United Kingdom sent a warship to the Taiwan Strait for the first since 2008, the sea that separates this island from mainland China and that Beijing considers a very sensitive sea passage. The Chinese army then accused the British government of acting with “malicious intent to sabotage peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.”

In recent years, Canadian, French and Australian warships have also crossed the Taiwan Strait, something that also prompted fierce protests from the Chinese government. The United States and other countries consider that this area belongs to international waters and that, therefore, it is open to everyone.

US military officials say they fear that China may be contemplating invading the island. In 2020, 380 Chinese air force aircraft were detected in Taiwan’s air defense zone. So far this year, there are already more than 600.

A long-standing conflict

Taiwan and China were separated in the Civil War between Nationalists and Communists in 1949. Nevertheless Taiwan, a democracy of 23 million inhabitants, lives under the constant threat of a Chinese invasion, which considers the island a wayward territory. Beijing has increased pressure on Taipei since the 2016 election of President Tsai Ing-wen, who says she sees the island as “independent” and not as part of “one China.”

Under President Xi Jinping, Chinese fighter jets cross the Taiwan Air Defense Identification Area (ADIZ) almost daily.. ADIZ is not the same as Taiwan’s airspace, but includes a larger area that overlaps with part of mainland China’s air defense identification zone and even with part of its territory.

The protection of Taiwan is an issue that calls on Washington and a growing number of Western countries to join the United States in “Freedom of Navigation” exercises, which seek to counter Beijing’s claims on the South China Sea. and the Strait of Taiwan.

Ned Price reiterated Sunday that the United States “will continue to help Taiwan maintain sufficient self-defense capabilities.” “The United States’ commitment to Taiwan is rock solid and contributes to the maintenance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and throughout the region,” the State Department official added.

Taiwan is one of the major reasons for conflict between China and the United States, mainly due to the fact that Washington is the main supplier of arms to Taiwan and would be its greatest military ally in the event of a possible war with China..

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