More than 20 Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan’s air defense zone

The Taiwan Ministry of Defense reports that dozens of Chinese military aircraft enter the air defense zone for the second time in a week. Biden has previously said that Beijing is “playing with fire” and the PRC has promised any measures to prevent separation of Taiwan from the country


Thursday, June 23, 22 Chinese People's Liberation Army aircraft (PLA) entered Taiwan's air defense zone, according to the island's Ministry of Defense.

The island was approached by:

  • two Y-8 anti-submarine aircraft;
  • two KJ-500 airborne early warning and control aircraft;
  • Y-8 electronic reconnaissance aircraft;
  • ten J-16 fighters;
  • five JH-7 fighter-bombers ;
  • two H-6 strategic bombers.

Two days earlier, on June 21, the Taiwan Ministry of Defense reported that at least 29 Chinese military aircraft had entered the air defense zone.

Taiwan is located about 150 km from the coast of China. In 1949, the territory announced its separation from the country, but Beijing did not recognize this decision and considers the island one of the provinces of the PRC. The Russian authorities, like the United States, support the principle of one China. The United States has no official diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but Washington has been selling arms to Taipei under a 1979 relations law. At the same time, the United States maintains official relations with China.

In late May, US President Joe Biden said that Beijing was “playing with fire by flying close [to Taiwan] and doing all these maneuvers.” While Washington has a “one-China policy,” it does not mean that “the PRC has the right to use force to seize Taiwan,” he stressed, and signaled the United States' readiness to defend the island in accordance with its obligations if China decides to seize it.

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The Chinese Foreign Ministry responded by protesting and calling Taiwan “an integral part of China's territory.” Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said that the Chinese army will go to any lengths to prevent Taiwan from separating from the country.

On June 14, Chinese President Xi Jinping authorized the use of the army for non-military operations, in order to protect China's sovereignty, “the interests development of the country and stability. The Global Times, citing a military expert, wrote that this would allow the military to provide assistance in natural disasters, humanitarian and peacekeeping operations. However, Radio Free Asia admitted that in this way Beijing could be preparing to invade Taiwan under the guise of a “special operation” that is not classified as a war.

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