Chinese military incursions into Taiwan’s airspace are on the rise, according to an infographic.
On October 4, fifty-six Chinese airplanes flew into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), the country’s greatest invasion since September 2020, when the island first began reporting such activity. 38 J-16 fighter planes, twelve H-6K bombers, two Y-8 anti-submarine aircraft, and two KJ-500 warning and control aircraft were among the aircraft involved. Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense reported that it monitored Chinese action with its own fighter jets and missile systems, issuing radio warnings.
Such events are not uncommon, and Chinese jets have been known to fly over the sensitive median line that separates the island’s and mainland’s airspace. The sheer number of Peoples Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) aircraft engaged in Monday’s event makes it noteworthy. Since the beginning of 2021, the scale and frequency of Chinese aerial action has increased. So far, October has been a particularly busy month, with 38 and 39 invasions on the first and second days of the month, respectively.
With the exception of a spike in June, Chinese aerial activity in Taiwan’s ADIZ remained low between May and July, and has been increasing since August. Earlier in the year, especially in January and April, there was more constant, albeit small-scale activity.
Fears of a military conflict have grown as a result of all of this effort. At Sunday’s National Day celebrations, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen was cited as stating she would do everything she could to protect the island’s way of life. China views Taiwan to be a rogue province that will inevitably be reunified, and it has retained the right to use whatever means necessary, including military force, to achieve that aim. Although an invasion was formerly considered implausible, Beijing has continued to strengthen its capacity to carry it out. It has continued to develop the remainder of its military, introducing state-of-the-art indigenous weaponry systems such as the J-20 stealth fighter jet, in addition to building new aircraft carriers, landing ships, and other navy warships.