China Conducts Largest Aerial Operation Near Taiwan
Nearly 150 aircraft have been spotted in the vicinity of Taiwan since October 1st, a Chinese holiday marking the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.
A total of 56 aircraft were spotted on Monday alone, marking China’s largest aerial incursion into Taiwan’s defense zone to date.
The island nation employed fighter jets and missile systems to deter Monday’s exercise, which included 34 J-16 fighters and 12 nuclear-capable H-6 bombers, and accused China of engaging in “grey zone” warfare designed to wear down and test its defenses.
“We have a full grasp of the communist military’s movements and have made appropriate responses,” said Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council. “We have also been actively communicating and cooperating with friendly countries to jointly contain the Chinese communists’ malicious provocations.”
As expected, China blamed American weapons sales to Taiwan for the increase in tensions between itself and the island nation it claims to own and accused the US of “inflating” Taiwan separatist forces.
“Engaging in Taiwan independence is a dead end,” said China’s Foreign Ministry. “China will take all steps needed and firmly smash any Taiwan independence plots…China’s determination and will to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity is unwavering.”
As I noted in a previous article (click here to read), China also sent 24 fighter jets into Taiwan’s airspace on September 23rd, the night before President Joe Biden met with Quad leaders to discuss China’s ever-growing belligerence.
“Our commitment to Taiwan is rock-solid and contributes to the maintenance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and within the region,” said the Pentagon this week.
A Taiwan-based source who chose to remain anonymous told reporters that the Chinese planes might have been conducting simulated attacks against US carrier fleets – something Beijing has done in previous months. The show of force could be a response to joint military exercises conducted last month involving ships from the United States, Britain, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, and the Netherlands, added the source.