Up to 25 fighters and bombers penetrated Taiwan’s air defense identification zone.
In the latest show of its military might, Beijing sent 25 Chinese air force planes into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), according to the island’s government Monday.
The formation included fighters and nuclear-capable bombers. While Beijing did not officially comment on the action, it follows the US State Department’s Friday issuing of new guidelines that would make it easier for US officials to meet with Taiwanese officials.
This most recent action is yet further evidence of what appears to be Chinese intimidation of Taiwan. Indeed, a January report showed that Chinese jets made 380 incursions into Taiwanese airspace in 2020.
The latest Chinese mission involved 14 J-16 and four J-10 fighters, as well as four H-6K bombers, which can carry nuclear weapons, two anti-submarine aircraft and an early warning aircraft, Taiwan’s Defence Ministry said, according to Reuters.
It was reportedly the largest daily incursion since the ministry began regularly reporting Chinese Air Force activities in Taiwan’s ADIZ last year.
The ministry added that combat aircraft were dispatched to intercept and warn away their Chinese opponents, while missile systems were also deployed to monitor them.
China is increasingly strident about its intentions toward Taiwan. Beijing views the island as belonging to the mainland and has threatened to take it – by force if necessary – to complete its One China Policy. It says that actions such as these are in response to collusion between Taipei and Washington.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken merely and meekly said on Sunday that any attempt to change the status quo by force would be a “mistake.”