(TibetanReview.net, Jun17’21) – Twenty-eight Chinese air force aircraft, including fighters and nuclear-capable bombers, entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Jun 15, making it its largest reported incursion to date, reported Reuters Jun 15. The incursion report came after G7 leaders issued a joint statement Jun 13, urging the Chinese government to respect human rights and calling on peace and “stability across the Taiwan Strait.”
“We will never tolerate attempts to seek independence or wanton intervention in the Taiwan issue by foreign forces, so we need to make a strong response to these acts of collusion,” Chinese government spokesperson Ma Xiaoguang was quoted as saying.
The status of Taiwan, which the Chinese government claims is a breakaway province, is one of the most sensitive political issues between Washington and Beijing. China has not ruled out the use of force to “retake” the self-ruled island should it move towards declaring formal independence even though it was never a part of the communist ruled People’s Republic of China.
The latest air incursion eclipsed the previous record of 25 planes China sent to fly over Taiwan on Apr 12, the report noted.
Taiwanese combat aircraft were reported to have been dispatched to intercept and warn away the Chinese aircraft, while missile systems were also deployed to monitor them.
China’s Defence Ministry has refused to respond to a request for comment.
Taiwan has complained over the last few months on repeated missions by China’s air force near the self-ruled island, concentrated in the southwestern part of its air defense zone near the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands.
Not only did the Chinese aircraft fly in an area close to the Pratas Islands, but the bombers and some of the fighters flew around the southern part of Taiwan close to the bottom tip of the island, Taiwan’s Defence Ministry has said.