For the second day in a row on Saturday, China staged its biggest provocation ever against Taiwan, a democratic US ally and an island republic that it claims as its own territory, by sending dozens of fighter jets and bombers in Taiwan’s air defense zone.
Taiwan’s military announced on Saturday that the Air Force of China’s People’s Liberation Army sent a total of 20 aircraft in a “first wave” from an incursion in its air defense zone.
Swarms of Chinese fighters and bombers
That was followed by another wave of 20 aircraft send four hours later.
With a swarm of a total of 36 Chinese aircraft sent against Taiwan on Friday, the total number of planes the PLA’s Air Force has used against the self-ruling island in the past two days has approached 80.
On Friday, a total of 28 of the Chinese planes in Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) were sent during the day and another 13 in the nighttime.
Taiwan’s US-armed military has been responding by issuing radio warnings and by deploying its missile systems for air defense in order to monitor the incursions.
It also scrambled fighter jets as a counter-reaction to the aggressive move in its air defense zone.
The Friday incursion led Joseph Wu, Taiwan’s Foreign Minister, to declare on Twitter that the sending of a total of 38 fighters and bombers in the island republic’s ADIZ constituted “the largest number of daily sorties on record.”
Taiwan split away from China in 1949, at the end of the Chinese civil war when the nationalist forces of the Republic of China fled after losing to the communists of Mao Zedong, who established the People’s Republic of China on the mainland.
In recent years, under Chinese President Xi Jinping, who seems to be trying to emulate Mao, the PRC has been upping its pressure against Taiwan, and hasn’t ruled out trying to conquer the democratic, highly industrialized island by force.
‘Buzzing of flies’
On Saturday, Su Tseng-chang, Taiwan’s Premier, accused China of damaging regional peace by “wantonly engaging in military aggression.”
Last week China sent a total of 24 fighter jets in Taiwan’s air defense identification zone after the latter announced it is going to apply for members in a Pacific trade bloc that the People’s Republic of China is also seeking to join.
Earlier this week, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office released a furious denunciation of Taiwanese Foreign Minister Wu’s mocking his attempts to boost the island republic’s international relations as “the buzzing of flies”, and as “shrilling and moaning.”
Taiwanese Defense Minister, Chiu Kuo-cheng, told the republic’s lawmakers that in the first nine months of 2021 China has carried out over 500 air force incursions in Taiwan’s ADIZ, up from 300 in the same period of 2020.