For several hours on Friday, March 26, tensions mounted in Taiwan as a record 20 military aircraft belonging to the Chinese Communist Party’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) flew over Taiwanese territory without authorization from local authorities.
The incursions of planes belonging to the Chinese regime’s military over Taiwanese territory have occurred almost daily during the last few months, but according to statements, never before have so many planes been seen together on the same day.
According to local media Taiwan News, the list published by the military included 10 J-16 fighters, four H-6K bombers, two J-10 jets, two Y-8 anti-submarine aircraft, one Y-8 RECCE reconnaissance aircraft and one KJ-500 airborne early warning and control aircraft.
As usually happens in the face of such intimidating measures by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the Taiwanese military turned on its alarms, scrambled the intruding aircraft, then issued radio warnings to tell the Chinese aircraft to stand down and deployed its air defense missile system to monitor the activity.
It was the largest incursion by the PLA air force since Taiwan’s Defense Ministry began disclosing near-daily military flights over the waters between the southern part of Taiwan and the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands in the South China Sea last year.
A person familiar with Taiwan’s security plans, The Guardian reported, said the CCP military was conducting exercises that would simulate an operation against U.S. warships sailing through the Bashi Channel.
Taiwan and the United States signed their first agreement under President Joe Biden on Friday, March 26, establishing a coast guard task force to coordinate policy after the Chinese regime passed a law allowing its coast guard to fire on foreign vessels. This suggests that the CCP’s actions are intended to intimidate and attract the attention of both Taiwan and its U.S. ally.
Meanwhile, the CCP authorities offered no comment on the matter. It has previously stated that such activities are not unusual and “are designed to show its determination to defend sovereignty.”
In late January, Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian, responding to questions about CCP military activity over Taiwanese airspace, said that Taiwan’s independence “means war,” reaffirming the CCP’s ambition to annex the island to its territory, Fox News reported.
The Chinese communist regime claims Taiwan as its own territory, and its position on the matter has been a cause of confrontation with other countries in recent years, especially with the United States, which during the Trump administration, was an absolute defender of the island’s freedoms and independence over the communist regime.
With the inauguration of President Joe Biden, it remains unknown what the U.S. position will be in the face of the advances and threats of the CCP on Taiwan. Although Emily Horne, spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, stated that the U.S. commitment to Taiwan remained firm, there are many doubts in this regard considering that Biden and the CCP have a common political agenda, which will probably make them work together along the same lines to achieve certain objectives.