China’s military has been significantly increasing its activity around Taiwan this week, with dozens of warplanes crossing into the island’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ).
The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has sent a total of 73 aircraft over the past 72 hours, either crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait or entering key regions of Taiwan’s ADIZ.
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry reported that in the 24-hour period ending at 6 a.m. local time on Wednesday, 38 PLA aircraft were detected. This was followed by 33 aircraft on Thursday and 30 on Friday.
China claims Taiwan as its territory and has not ruled out using force to take control of the island.
The PLA aircraft involved in this recent surge of activity included fighter jets, H-6 bombers, anti-submarine warning aircraft, and reconnaissance drones, according to Taiwan’s Defense Ministry.
In response to the increased PLA activity, Taiwan’s military deployed combat air patrol warplanes, naval vessels, and land-based missile defense systems. Additionally, nine Chinese warships were present around the island.
This escalation of PLA operations poses a significant challenge for Taiwan, as it puts strain on the island’s military resources and equipment.
Analysts have expressed concerns about the implications of China’s actions, stating that they are detrimental to cross-strait stability and do not bode well for Taiwan.
China’s ruling Communist Party has long sought to isolate Taiwan diplomatically and considers it part of its territory despite never having controlled it.
As tensions continue to rise between China and Taiwan, the international community will be closely monitoring the situation and assessing the potential consequences of these military activities.
Date published: July 14, 2023