- China's military tends to increase the number of airplanes and naval drills near Taiwan around the time that Taipei makes diplomatic plans with other countries.
- China gets angry at any diplomatic action that seems to treat Taiwan as a sovereign nation.
Over the course of about six hours, more than 30 Chinese airplanes flew into Taiwan’s air defense zone, the island’s defense ministry said Thursday. This is a sharp increase in the number of incursions by China’s military in a single day.
China says that self-ruled Taiwan is part of its land and has promised to take it back one day, even if it means using force.
In recent years, Beijing has increased the number of air incursions into the island’s air defense identification zone. In 2022, compared to the year before, the number of air flights will have almost doubled.
Sun Li-fang, a spokeswoman for Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense, said on Thursday that starting at 5 a.m. local time (2100 GMT), “a total of 37 Chinese military aircrafts” entered Taiwan’s southwestern ADIZ.
Sun said around 11 a.m., “Some went on…towards the Western Pacific for long-range reconnaissance training.”
Even though there were more entries on Thursday than any other day this year (45 on April 9), they happened in a much shorter amount of time.
Taiwan’s ADIZ is much bigger than its airspace. It crosses with part of China’s ADIZ and even includes some of the mainland.
The Ministry of National Defense of Taiwan said on Twitter that the military is “closely watching the situation” and that patrol planes, navy ships, and land-based missile systems have been sent to deal with the situation.
They didn’t say whether or not the attacks were still happening.
Analysts say that China’s increased testing of Taiwan’s defense zone is part of a larger set of “grey-zone” tactics that keep the island under pressure.
The attacks happened a day after the US, the Philippines, and Japan finished their first-ever joint coastguard drills in the tense South China Sea, which almost all of which Beijing claims.
China’s military tends to increase the number of airplanes and naval drills near Taiwan around the time that Taipei makes diplomatic plans with other countries.
China gets angry at any diplomatic action that seems to treat Taiwan as a sovereign nation. It has also become more assertive when joint military drills or visits by Western politicians take place around the island.
In April, after Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Taiwan’s leader Tsai Ing-wen met in California, Beijing held three days of military drills that looked like a blockade of the island.