Just two days after its last record-breaking set of military flights around the island of Taiwan, China sent its largest-ever single wave of warplanes into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Monday. In total, 52 Chinese People’s Liberation Army aircraft breached Taiwan’s ADIZ.
In response to the pattern of increased military pressure from China, Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said in an interview with Australia’s ABC News that his country is prepared to fight back if China attacks.
In total, the Chinese military flights on Monday included 36 J-16 and Su-30 fighter jets, 12 nuclear-capable H-6 bombers, 2 Y-8 anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft and two KJ-500 airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft.
The Ministry of National Defense for the Republic of China, the formal name for the Taiwanese government, tweeted, “52 PLA aircraft (J-16*34, SU-30*2 Y-8 ASW*2, KJ-500 AEW&C*2 and H-6*12) entered #Taiwan’s southwest ADIZ on October 4, 2021. Please check our official website for more information.”
Taiwan’s military says it issued radio warnings, activated its missile defense systems and tasked its own aircraft to respond to the massive aerial incursion.
“If China is going to launch a war against Taiwan we will fight to the end, and that is our commitment,” Wu told Australia’s ABC News.
Wu also called on Australia to increase its intelligence sharing and security cooperation in response to Beijing’s increased pressure campaign.
In recent days, large-scale breaches of Taiwan’s ADIZ have come in multiple waves. The Taiwanese defense ministry’s latest tweet suggests all 52 Chinese warplanes breached Taiwan’s ADIZ in a single incident.
China has been flying military aircraft into Taiwan’s ADIZ on a near-daily basis for months now, but this military pressure campaign has sharply increased in intensity in recent days. Between the 38 Chinese warplanes sent in two waves into Taiwan’s ADIZ on Friday, 39 more on Saturday in two more waves, 16 on Sunday, and 52 on Monday, China has sent 145 planes towards Taiwan in the span of just four days.
This latest record day record-breaking breach also comes within a day of the U.S. State Department issuing a statement, urging Beijing to let off from the pressure campaign against Taiwan.
“The United States is very concerned by the People’s Republic of China’s provocative military activity near Taiwan, which is destabilizing, risks miscalculations, and undermines regional peace and stability,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said. “We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure and coercion against Taiwan.”
Beijing’s move to send an even larger military flight towards Taiwan appears to serve as a direct rejection of Price’s warning remarks.
While Taiwan governs itself as an independent nation, China maintains its claim that Taiwan is Chinese territory. China has increasingly alluded to “reunification” with Taiwan and during the 100th-anniversary celebrations of the founding of its ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Chinese leader Xi Jinping said China would defeat Taiwanese independence “schemes.” Xi also warned that any country that tries to interfere with China’s affairs will have their “heads bashed bloody.” China has also practiced amphibious military landings like the kind that will likely be needed to invade the island.