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As Chinese Warplanes Intrude, Taiwan Deploys Jets To Warn Off

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Taiwan claims it dispatched fighter jets into its air defense zone to warn off 30 Chinese warplanes.

The intrusion on Monday was the most serious since January.

It occurred days after US President Joe Biden warned China against invading Taiwan and on the same day that a US envoy visited Taiwan to discuss security with island authorities.

In recent months, China has increased the frequency of its air missions, saying that they are training drills.

Such actions have enraged Taiwan and heightened regional tensions.

Taiwan is regarded by China as a breakaway province that it can seize by force if necessary.

According to Taiwan’s defense ministry, the current incident involved 22 fighters, as well as electronic warfare, early warning, and antisubmarine planes.

According to a chart given by the ministry, the plane flew through an area northeast of the Pratas Islands that is part of Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ).

However, the planes did not fly into Taiwanese airspace, which would have been considered a hostile act.

In the purpose of national security, an ADIZ is a region outside of a country’s territory and national airspace where foreign aircraft are nonetheless identified, monitored, and controlled. It is self-declared and retains international airspace in theory.

For more than a year, Taiwan has been reporting Chinese aircraft straying into its ADIZ, describing it as “grey zone” warfare aimed at testing their military response and tiring them out.

Analysts have previously stated that the intrusions were a warning to Taiwan’s authorities to refrain from formally declaring independence.

Beijing has previously stated that the drills were conducted to safeguard its sovereignty.

During his trip to Asia, which ended last week, Mr. Biden talked about the air incursions. This was his first trip to the area as president.

He warned China that it was “already flirting with danger right now by flying so close” to Taiwan, and he gave his most forceful warning yet, suggesting the US would be willing to respond militarily if Beijing invaded the island.

His words seemed to be a change from the US’s long-standing policy of “strategic ambiguity” toward Taiwan. This policy let the US keep its response to a situation like this a secret.

Last week, China’s military announced that it had just conducted a drill over Taiwan as a “solemn warning” against “collusion” with the US.

On the same day of the intrusion, US Senator Tammy Duckworth arrived in Taipei for an unannounced visit to discuss regional security and trade issues with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.

Image Credit: Getty

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