China sends 38 fighter jets to the skies near Taiwan

The planes of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) arrived in two waves, the Defense Ministry said.

Twenty-five PLA fighter jets entered the southwest corner of ADIZ during daylight hours, and another 13 jets entered the island’s southwest ADIZ on Friday evening, the ministry said in a statement.

While the Chinese aircraft in the afternoon departure remained in the extreme southwest of the ADIZ, the aircraft involved in the afternoon flight flew through the defense zone and connected to the northeast before changing course and returning. to mainland China, the Defense Ministry said. .

The 25 PLA aircraft involved in the daytime raid included 18 J-16 fighters, four Su-30 fighters, two H-6 bombers and one Y-8 anti-submarine warplane, according to the Defense Ministry.

The latest flight included 10 J-16s, two H-6s and a KJ-500 airborne early warning aircraft, it added.

The raids did not violate Taiwan’s sovereign airspace, which extends 12 nautical miles from its coast. The US Federal Aviation Administration defines an ADIZ as “a designated area of ​​airspace over land or water within which a country requires immediate and positive identification, location, and air traffic control of aircraft in interest of the national security of the country “.

the previous single day record for PLA flights to Taiwan’s ADIZ was in June, when 28 Chinese military aircraft entered.

Friday’s raids came as Beijing celebrates 72 years since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.

A Chinese J-16 multipurpose strike fighter for the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) is displayed at the 13th China International Aviation and Aerospace Expo in Zhuhai on September 28.

“This is how the PLA chooses to celebrate its National Day: Military Coercion,” posted Drew Thompson, former US Department of Defense official and visiting senior fellow at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. . On twitter.

“The PLAAF raids are fairly routine at the moment, but increasing bomber flights on a major holiday in the People’s Republic of China (People’s Republic of China) underscores that this is a political war and part of a campaign of massive coercion.” Thompson told CNN.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has refused to rule out military force to capture Taiwan if necessary.

In the past, analysts have said that PLA flights are likely to serve several purposes for China, demonstrating the PLA’s strength to a national audience and providing Chinese military intelligence and skills it would need in any potential conflict involving Taiwan. .

Taiwan plans to spend $ 1.4 billion on new fighter jets amid increasing military activity from China

Taiwan and mainland China have been ruled separately since the end of a civil war more than seven decades ago, in which defeated nationalists fled to Taipei.

However, Beijing views Taiwan as an inseparable part of its territory, despite the fact that the Communist Party of China has never ruled the democratic island of some 24 million people.

The Taiwanese Foreign Ministry reiterated that point last week after Beijing sent a total of 24 fighter jets in the island’s ADIZ in one day.

“Taiwan is Taiwan and is not part of the People’s Republic of China. The People’s Republic of China has never ruled Taiwan for a single day,” said a statement from the Taiwanese Foreign Ministry.

Last Thursday, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office issued a statement and criticized Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu for “frantically delivering Taiwan independence speeches” on the international stage.

“Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory and has never been a country,” the statement said. “We tell Joseph Wu and those who like him that unification is the right way and that ‘Taiwan independence’ is a dead end.”

“Following the trend of national rejuvenation and unification, various ‘Taiwan independence’ forces are like grasshoppers after autumn. All kinds of ‘Taiwan independence’ speeches are nothing more than ‘buzzing’ flies,” he said.

In response, the Taiwan Mainland Affairs Council struck back and accused Beijing of using “extremely despicable language” to smear and abuse its foreign minister.

And on Saturday, Wu himself responded on Twitter.

“October 1 was not a good day. The #PLAAF flew 38 warplanes against # Taiwan’s ADIZ, making it the most recorded daily departures. Threat? Of course. Strange that # PRC no longer bother to make excuses, “Wu tweeted on the Taiwan Foreign Ministry account.

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