Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday criticized China after 38 of its military aircraft crossed into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Friday, the most in a single day since Taiwan began issuing a tally on such incursions in September last year.
On Friday evening, the Ministry of National Defense reported that 25 Chinese planes had crossed into the nation’s southeastern ADIZ, between Taiwan proper and the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Island, 東沙群島).
It identified the planes as 18 J-16 fighter jets, four SU-30 fighters, two H-6 bombers and one Y-8 anti-submarine warfare plane.
Photo courtesy of the Ministry of National Defense
Late on Friday night, the ministry reported that 13 Chinese aircraft had entered the southwestern ADIZ, identifying them as 10 J-16 fighter jets, two H-6 bombers and one KJ-500, which is a third-generation airborne early warning and control aircraft.
The J-16 fighters and the H-6 bombers entered the ADIZ from the direction of China’s Fujian and Guangdong provinces, crossed the Bashi Channel and returned to China, while the KJ-500 entered the ADIZ from the direction of Guangdong, before returning to China, ministry data showed.
The incursions came on the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
In response, Taiwan’s air force scrambled planes to monitor the Chinese aircraft, issued radio warnings and mobilized air defense assets, the ministry said.
Before Friday’s incursion, the most Chinese military planes to enter the ADIZ in a single day was 28 on June 15, two days after the G7 issued a statement highlighting the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.
Later yesterday, the ministry said that another 20 Chinese air force planes had crossed into the ADIZ.
“China has been wantonly engaging in military aggression, damaging regional peace,” Su said.
China has used a wide range of bullying tactics against Taiwan, but the actions have increasingly been renounced by other countries, Su said.
Shu Hsiao-huang (舒孝煌), a research fellow at the Institute for National Defense and Security Research, said that the J-16 is the main fighter jet of China’s air force, and mobilizing 16 of them was perhaps aimed at familiarizing its pilots with the air space around Taiwan.
It could be a training exercise to acclimatize pilots to long-range flights, as well as coordinating with bombers, he added.
Taiwan should boost defenses in its southwestern air space, he said, adding that improving its intelligence gathering capabilities in the area could give the military more time to deploy mobile anti-air missile trucks on the east coast.
Retired air force deputy commander lieutenant general Chang Yen-ting (張延廷) said previous assumptions that Taiwan’s east coast is relatively safe are no longer true.
The route taken by the Chinese planes demonstrates that the whole of Taiwan is now within bombing range of its air force, and Taiwan’s military should begin establishing hardened aircraft shelters, Chang said.
Additional reporting by Wu Su-wei and Reuters
The US Department of State yesterday criticized Beijing over its misrepresentation of the US’ “one China” policy in the latest diplomatic salvo between the two countries over a bid by Taiwan to regain its observer status at the World Health Assembly, the decisionmaking body of the WHO. “The PRC [People’s Republic of China] continues to publicly misrepresent U.S. policy,” Department of State spokesman Ned Price wrote on Twitter. “The United States does not subscribe to the PRC’s ‘one China principle’ — we remain committed to our longstanding, bipartisan one China policy, guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, Three Joint Communiques, and
FATES LINKED: The US president said that sanctions on Russia over Ukraine must exact a ‘long-term price,’ because otherwise ‘what signal does that send to China?’ US President Joe Biden yesterday vowed that US forces would defend Taiwan militarily in the event of a Chinese attack in his strongest statement to date on the issue. Beijing is already “flirting with danger,” Biden said following talks with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo, in which the pair agreed to monitor Chinese naval activity and joint Chinese-Russian exercises. Asked if Washington was willing to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan, he replied: “Yes.” “That’s the commitment we made,” Biden said. “We agreed with the ‘one China’ policy, we signed on to it ... but the idea that it can be
INFORMATION LEAKED: Documents from Xinjiang purportedly showed top leaders in Beijing calling for a forceful crackdown and even orders to shoot to kill Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) yesterday held a videoconference with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet as she visited Xinjiang during a mission overshadowed by fresh allegations of Uighur abuses and fears she is being used as a public relations tool. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been accused of detaining more than 1 million Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in the region as part of a years-long crackdown the US and lawmakers in other Western nations have labeled a “genocide.” China denies the allegations. Bachelet was expected to visit the cities of Urumqi and Kashgar on a six-day tour. The US
SUBTLE? While Biden said the US policy of ‘strategic ambiguity’ on Taiwan had not changed, the group targeted China and Russia without naming them Leaders of Australia, India, Japan and the US yesterday warned against attempts to “change the status quo by force,” as concerns grow about whether China could invade Taiwan. The issue of Taiwan loomed over a leadership meeting in Tokyo of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) nations — the US, Japan, Australia and India — who stressed their determination to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific region in the face of an increasingly assertive China, although Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the group was not targeting any one country. The four leaders said in a joint statement issued after their talks