The Chinese regime invaded Taiwan’s air zone with 39 mostly fighter jets, in what was the largest show of force in several months, Fox News reported.
The intrusion was reported by Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) on Sunday, January 23, in what it said was the largest incursion by China’s air force since October 4, when a record 56 aircraft were detected in its air defense zone (ADIZ).
According to Taiwan News, the Chinese regime sent 24 Shenyang J-16 fighter jets, 10 Chengdu J-10 fighter jets, one Xi’an H-6 bomber, two Shaanxi Y-9 electronic warfare aircraft (Y-9 EW), and two Shaanxi Y-8 electronic intelligence surveillance aircraft (Y-8 ELINT).
In response, the Taiwan Air Force issued radio warnings, and its air defense missile systems were activated, the MND said in a statement.
The launch came on the same day the U.S. Navy sailed two aircraft carriers and a pair of amphibious assault ships alongside Japan in the Philippine Sea. The U.S. Pacific Fleet announced such training maneuvers on its Facebook page on Saturday.
It is unclear whether this was the trigger for the Chinese regime to threaten Taiwan’s air zone, but it already conducted such maneuvers in early October during similar operations by the U.S. Navy.
Beijing has increased pressure on Taiwan to accept its sovereignty claims, and with the air invasions the Chinese Communist Party not only intends to wear down Taiwan’s forces but they are intended to test its responses.
But Taiwan has had an independent government since 1949. The U.S. does not formally recognize Taiwan, but maintains an unofficial relationship and supports its democratic government.
The White House has stated that “the United States remains committed to the ‘one-China policy,’ guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the three Joint Communiques, and the Six Assurances,” and that it “strongly opposes” any action that would alter the “status quo” in the region or “undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”
Tsai Ing-wen the island’s current democratic president urged Beijing in her latest New Year’s Eve speech to stop its “military adventurism,” warning that it will continue to defend the island’s independence.
“We will uphold our sovereignty and values of freedom and democracy, defend our territorial sovereignty and national security, and work to ensure peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region,” Tsai said.