By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
(Worthy News) – The United States has expressed concern about the unprecedented appearance of Chinese military aircraft in Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ). The self-governing island said a total of 39 Chinese military aircraft entered the ADIZ, airspace dedicated to responding to hostile aircraft. That was one more than the 38 planes the Taiwanese military spotted on Friday.
The U.S. State Department warned China to stop its “provocations” against Taiwan. “The United States is very concerned by the People’s Republic of China’s provocative military activity near Taiwan, said State Department spokesman Ned Price.
He added that China’s actions are “destabilizing, risk miscalculations, and undermine regional peace and stability.” And, “we urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure and coercion against Taiwan,” Price stressed.
China claims Taiwan as part of its territory, but Taiwan says it is a sovereign nation.
Taiwan’s defense ministry said Saturday’s incursions were the highest Taiwan recorded in a day since it began publicly reporting such activities last year. Officials said Saturday’s incursions came in two batches — 20 planes during daytime hours and 19 at night. The ministry explained that they involved 26 J-16 fighter jets, 10 Su-30 fighter jets, two Y-8 anti-submarine warning aircraft, and one KJ-500 airborne early warning and control plane.
HUNDREDS OF INCURSIONS
In response to the incursions, the Taiwanese air force scrambled aircraft, issued radio warnings, and deployed air defense missiles systems, the ministry added. China’s sharp increase in incursions came after Taiwan announced plans to join a regional trade group, a move angering Beijing.
In 2020, China made a record 380 incursions into the ADIZ, but this year, China already did so more than 500 times, according to official estimates.
Observing say that China has increased the pressure since Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, who said she views Taiwan as “already independent,” was elected in 2016.
Amid the heightened tensions, Britain sent a warship to the Taiwan Strait for the first time since 2008.
Beijing accused Britain of showing “evil intentions to sabotage peace and stability” in the troubled area.