In light of movement by mainland Chinese military forces, Taiwan’s defense ministry has reported at least 19 aircraft of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) passing through the island’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Sunday, Sept. 5.
According to the Ministry, the force of planes sent by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) consisted of a dozen fighter jets (10 Shenyang J-16 jets and four Sukhoi SU-30 jets), four bombers (Xian H-6’s) and one surveillance plane (Y-8 ASW). The planes flew through the southwestern corner of the island’s ADIZ.
Communist China claims that Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China (ROC), is part of its territory and has vowed “reunification” by military force if necessary.
ADIZ is the airspace over the given area where “identification, location, and control of all aircraft (except for Department of Defense and law enforcement aircraft)” are needed to ensure national security.
After tracking the planes via radar, the ROC Ministry of National Defense sent radio warnings to the crews, deploying missile defence systems and fighter jets to force the planes away. The Ministry also stated that the CCP’s planes have trespassed into the ADIZ three days in a row, as four planes were flown on both Friday and Saturday.
The ROC defense ministry has warned that the threat of Beijing’s growing armed forces could “paralyse” the island’s defences, continuing to increase its military presence to “violate Taiwan’s ADIZ” and intimidate it.
Defense ministry data obtained by Taiwan News stated that mainland “Chinese planes were tracked in Taiwan’s identification zone 22 times in April, 18 times in March, 17 times in February, and 27 times in January.”
On June 15, 28 PLA military jets penetrated into the southern end of the ADIZ, culminating in the largest intrusion of PLAAF aircraft in known history. Similarly, on Jan. 24, 15 military aircraft were caught passing through the zone, with another 25 jets spotted on April 12.
Beijing has launched several military exercises close to Taiwan, with warships, anti-submarine aircraft and fighter jets against what it claims to be “external interference and provocations by Taiwan independence forces”.
As reported by CNA, Taiwanese scholar Su Tzu-yun stated that the threat of the new J-16D jet, built for electronic warfare, should be observed, as it is equipped to hinder anti-air defences and radar jamming systems.
The mainland Chinese Maritime Safety Administration has also made it mandatory for foreign vessels to report themselves before passing through Beijing’s “territories” in the South China Sea, prompting several naval responses from other countries.
The Defense Ministry of Japan has also reported that three Chinese military aircraft, one of which was a surveillance drone, flew above two Japanese islands on Aug. 26. One of Japan’s top candidates for the position of Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that the country should “expand its missile-strike capabilities” to counter China and North Korea’s armed forces.