For the seventh time this month, Chinese warplanes approached Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Monday in what could be a deepening phase of geopolitical turmoil between Beijing and Taipei, reported Reuters.
The People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) flew at least one H-6 bomber and J-10 fighter jet into the ADIZ at the island’s southwest territory.
Taiwan’s air force responded by issuing verbal warnings to the PLAAF aircraft and dispatched aerial reconnaissance and fighter jets to intercept the Chinese jets.
Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) said Taiwanese fighters “proactively drove off” the PLAAF aircraft. The incident marks the seventh time, last seen on June 9, 12, 16, 17, 18, and 19, that Chinese military aircraft have violated the country’s ADIZ.
The H-6 is a nuclear-capable bomber, used by China in “island encirclement” war exercises around the Chinese claimed-island.
Beijing insists Taiwan is part of China, and the war drills around the island, if that is in the air or by sea, act as a routine reminder that China has plans for unification.
The sudden spike in Chinese warplane sightings comes weeks after Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen was sworn in for a second presidential term in late May.
US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo congratulated Tsai and said Taiwan is a “force for good in the world and a reliable partner.”
Usually, the US has refrained from recognizing Taipei’s government in the past. This certainly angered China – and probably why PLAAF aircraft have been flying around the island.
With cross-strait and Sino-US diplomatic relations quickly deteriorating – Beijing will likely continue its aggressive stance in the region.
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