2022: China Continues to Fly Aircraft into Taiwan’s Air Defense ID Zone

In 2021, China’s President Xi Jinping vowed to achieve “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan. The president’s declaration came only a week after Beijing dispatched nearly 150 Chinese military flights into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ).

This week, China continued its show of aggression sending 39 military aircraft into the islands ADIZ on Jan. 23, marking the second-largest incursion on a record, and a high for the new year.

The Taiwan Defense Ministry reported that the aircraft flew over of the northeast of the Pratas, and consisted of 34 fighter jets, four electronic warfare aircraft, and a single bomber.

The Ministry responded by scrambling its own aircraft broadcast warning and deploying air defense missile systems to track the aircraft in its territory.

While China’s goal to intimidate Taiwan is clear, news outlets can only speculate as to why the escalation occurred.

Notably, this display comes just two days after Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen Lunar New Year speech lauded the Taiwanese military as guardians of the nation’s democratic way of life.

President Tsai Ing-wen (center) with members of the air force’s Seventh Flight Training Wing during a Lunar New Year visit. (Image from Taiwan Today.)

However, Lin Ying-yu, associate professor of Asia-Pacific affairs at Taiwan’s National Sun Yat-sen University, believed there might have been a different trigger point.  He points to joint naval exercises carried out by the United States and Japan in the Philippine Sea as the potential catalyst. The military included ten U.S. Navy ships, including the USS Carl Vinson and the USS Abraham Lincoln.

According to a Reuters report, these two U.S. Navy Carrier Strike Groups have now moved to the territorially disputed South China Sea. The two groups will continue to carry out military drills, which according to the Department of Defense, will be conducted in accordance with international law.  

Meanwhile, China shows no sign of ending its aggression anytime soon. In fact, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry tweeted out early this morning (Jan. 24) that 13 more Chinese aircraft entered its southwest ADIZ.

Post by: CJ Fisher

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