With 71 Aircraft And Seven Navy Warships, China Launches Its Largest Incursion Into Taiwan's Defence Zone

China Launches Its Largest Incursion Into Taiwan's Defence Zone With 71 Aircraft And Seven Navy Warships

by Swarajya Staff - Dec 26, 2022 02:20 PM +05:30 IST
China Launches Its Largest Incursion Into Taiwan's Defence Zone With 71 Aircraft And Seven Navy Warships China's J-10 fighter aircraft

A total of 71 Chinese air force aircraft including fighter jets and drones entered Taiwan’s air defence identification zone in the past 24 hours, the island nation's government said on Monday (26 December), the largest reported incursion to date.

Among them, 47 aircraft were spotted either crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait or entering Taiwan's southwestern air defense identification zone, the Taiwanese Defence Ministry said on Monday.

Further, seven Chinese navy warships were also detected in the region by the Taiwanese Defence Ministry.

According to information provided by the Defense Ministry of Taiwan to Central News Agency, the planes included 12 Shenyang J-11 and six Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets, one CASC Rainbow CH-4 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), six Chengdu J-10 and 18 J-16 fighter jets, one Shaanxi Y-8 EW, one Y-8 ASW, one KJ-500 airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) plane, and one Guizhou WZ-7 Soaring Dragon UAV.

In response, the Taiwanese armed forces have been monitoring the situation and have deployed combat air patrol aircraft, navy vessels, and land-based missile systems.

These sorties by the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) came after US President Joe Biden signed the 2023 National Defense Authorisation Act (NDAA) into law on 23 December, which includes provisions authorising $2 billion in loans for Taiwan to purchase US-made weapons.

The NDAA also includes a nonbinding provision stating that Taiwanese naval forces should be included in the Rim of the Pacific military exercises conducted by the US military and its allies in the region as appropriate in 2024, though the Act does not require the US administration to invite Taiwan to participate.

Beijing has strongly objected to the NDAA, viewing it as an attempt to change the status quo by challenging the One China policy and Sino-US joint agreements on how to address the issue of Taiwan.

On Sunday, the PLA Eastern Theater Command held joint combat readiness patrols and "strike drills" in the sea and airspace around Taiwan, stating, "This is a resolute response to the current U.S.-Taiwan provocation."

In response, the Taiwanese Defense Ministry stated on Sunday evening that the Chinese military activities were intended to intimidate and manipulate public opinion in Taiwan through psychological warfare.

The ministry further emphasised that Taiwan-US cooperation promotes freedom, openness, peace, and stability in the Indo-Pacific region, and the military will continue to strengthen its preparations based on enemy threats and self-defense needs.

It added that the military is fully determined, capable, and confident in defending Taiwan's sovereignty and ensuring national defense security.

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