A Chinese military aircraft flies over Pingtan Island, one of mainland China’s closest points to Taiwan, on August 5, 2022.
Hector Ritmal | AFP | Getty Images
On Thursday, Taiwan announced the second day of the Chinese Air Force’s large-scale incursions into the Air Defense Identification Zone, where the Defense Ministry said it had detected 21 aircraft over a 24-hour period, amid Beijing’s campaign of military pressure.
Taiwan, which China considers its territory, has been complaining for nearly three years about the increase in Chinese military activity near the island, as Beijing seeks to assert its claims to sovereignty.
China has said its activities in the region are justified because it seeks to defend its territorial integrity and warn the United States against “collusion” with Taiwan, despite the anger it arouses in Taipei.
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said the aircraft, consisting of 17 J-10 fighters and four J-16 fighters, flew into the southwestern corner of Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone, according to a map released by the ministry.
J-10s, an older model that entered service two decades ago, flew closer to the Chinese coast than Taiwan, while J-16s, a newer and more advanced fighter, flew into northeastern Taiwan held by the Pratas Islands, dotted on the map. It arrives.
The lightly protected Pratas is strategically located at the top of the South China Sea, and many of China’s flybys take place nearby.
The ministry added that Taiwanese forces are monitoring the situation, including sending in their own aircraft, using normal wording in their response to such Chinese incursions.
On Wednesday, the ministry said 19 Chinese aircraft were flying in Taiwan’s air defense zone.
None of the planes crossed the sensitive central line of the Taiwan Strait, which served as an unofficial buffer zone between the two sides, but the Chinese air force has flown over it almost daily since launching war games near Taiwan last August.
Taiwan reported a large crossing of Chinese aircraft in the middle of the line on Friday, with 10 aircraft involved.
China has not commented on recent activities near Taiwan. In January, China said it conducted combat exercises around the island to “resolutely counter the provocative actions of outside forces and Taiwan separatist forces”.
No shots were fired while the Chinese planes were flying within Taiwan’s ADIZ, not its territorial airspace.
The ADIZ is a larger area that Taiwan monitors and patrols, giving it more time to respond to any threats.
Taiwan’s democratically elected government has repeatedly offered talks with China, but says the island will defend itself if attacked and that only the Taiwanese people can decide its future.