Chinese flights came a day after the US secretary of state warned Beijing that Washington was committed to defending the democratic, self-governing island that China considers part of its sovereign territory.
The 25 aircraft sent by the People’s Liberation Army of China (PLA) include 14 J-16 fighter jets, four J-10 fighter jets, four H-6K bombers, two anti-submarine aircraft and an early airborne aircraft. warning and control. to the Taiwan Ministry of Defense.
Taiwan has responded by shuffling fighter jets, alerting missile defense systems and issuing radio warnings to Chinese planes that they have entered the southwest corner of the island’s self-declared air defense identification zone (ADIZ), the ministry said in a statement.
The chart, provided by the ministry, shows flight tracks for Chinese planes coming and going back to mainland China, making 1
Taiwan began publishing regular updates on PLA flights near the island last September. Before Monday, the largest number of Chinese military aircraft entering Taiwan’s ADIZ was 20 jets On March 26
The US Federal Aviation Administration defines ADIZ as “a defined area of airspace above land or water in which a State requires the immediate and positive identification, location and control of aircraft air traffic in the interests of national security.”
Chinese planes have been carrying out almost daily incursions into Taiwan’s ADIZ in recent weeks as tensions heat up between Beijing and the main supporter of Taipei, the United States.
Beijing claims Taiwan as its territory, even though the democratic island of nearly 24 million people has been ruled separately for more than seven decades.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has vowed that Beijing will never allow Taiwan to become officially independent, and has refused to rule out the use of force, if necessary, to reunite the island with the mainland.
Analysts say the exercises are a warning to Taipei and Washington that Beijing will not take action for Taiwan’s independence and is ready to act militarily to prevent it.
U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said Sunday that Washington is committed to defending Taiwan.
“What really worries us is the increasingly aggressive actions of the government in Beijing aimed at Taiwan,” Blinken told NBC’s Meet the Press.
“We have a strong commitment to Taiwan being able to defend itself. We have a strong commitment to peace and security in the western Pacific. And in this context, it would be a serious mistake for anyone to try to change this status quo by force,” Blinken said.
Chinese flights on Monday at Taiwan’s ADIZ continue to develop, said Bonnie Glaser, director of the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
“Every time the United States takes a position on Taiwan that China doesn’t like, or if Taiwan does something they don’t like, it usually intensifies activity in Taiwan’s air defense identification area, and sometimes around some of the islands that Taiwan occupied in the South China Sea, “Glaser said.
China is rapidly accumulating weapons and systems to conquer the island militarily, leaders said.
“My opinion is that this problem is much closer to us than most people think,” warned Adm. John Aquilino, the admiral elected to be the next commander of US forces in the Pacific, last month at a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
China considers establishing full control of Taiwan its “number one priority,” Aquilino added.
The current head of command, Admiral Philip Davidson, said at a hearing earlier this month that China may be ready to take Taiwan by force over the next six years.
CNN’s Angus Watson and CNN’s Beijing bureau contributed to the report.