Large Group Of Chinese Jets & Bombers Buzz Taiwan With Island On Heightened Alert
Taiwan's defense ministry has said that Friday 18 Chinese PLA Air Force jets breached its air defense identification zone in what's being described as the largest such violation in over three months.
Fox News Pentagon correspondent Lucas Tomlinson observes, "China buzzes Taiwan with largest contingent of fighter jets and bombers in more than 3 months one day after Japanese PM visits 10 Downing Street and ahead of Biden’s trip to East Asia later this month."
As is typical of such breaches, which over the past two years have become more and more regular, occurring on a weekly basis, Taiwan’s air force scrambled its own fighters to warn off the PLA jets.
This new incursion involved six Chinese J-11 and six J-16 fighters which were escorting a pair of H-6 bombers, according to the defense ministry.
And Reutersunderscores that currently Taiwan is in "a heighten state of alert due to fears China could use Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to make a similar military move on the island, though Taipei’s government has not reported any signs Beijing is about to attack."
The report notes further, "The number of aircraft involved was well off the last large-scale incursion, 39 Chinese aircraft on January 23, and since then, such fly-bys have been with far fewer aircraft."
Starting in early 2021 such flights ramped up almost daily, with a prior report citing defense experts who said "the increased operations were aimed at normalizing the incursions."
After the February start of the Ukraine invasion, Beijing verbalized its rejection of the Ukraine and Taiwan comparisons coming out of the US and Europe, stressing that China has already established that the island is its own, also invoking the 'One China' policy agreed to in the West.
Since then, many Western officials have expressed fear of an emerging scenario where Moscow and Beijing increasingly act in concert. This also as China has frustrated Washington in its refusal to condemn the Russian aggression in Ukraine.