Taiwan scrambles jets after detecting 39 Chinese warplanesPosted by Annie May / January 25, 2022
Taiwan has scrambled its fighters and activated its missile defense system after detecting 39 Chinese warplanes just outside its national airspace. The event comes as the United States is trying to find a way to accelerate delivery of fighter jets amid increasing tensions with China.
Taiwan has deployed advanced, fourth generation fighter jets in a show of force to stand up to China. China has fifth-generation fighter jets, but so does the United States, who has backing Taiwan.
The president of Taiwan has said that the threat from China is increasing every day, and she has confirmed that there are US military trainers assisting the Taiwanese.
Last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed to achieve a “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan, despite the threatening presence of Chinese fighters in Taiwanese airspace over the past months. In response, the Taiwanese president has vowed to defend Taiwan’s sovereignty.
Biden has sided with China as tensions heat up between China and Taiwan, reiterating that the U.S. will abide by the “one China” policy––meaning the US will follow the Chinese assertion that Taiwan is its territory.
Taiwan has recorded a record number of Chinese jets in its airspace. This past summer, Chinese jets entered Taiwanese airspace multiple times. In June, China sent a massive force of 28 aircraft into Taiwanese airspace, including nuclear-capable bombers, the largest and most threatening show of force yet.
The Chinese government, angered by recent developments between the U.S. and Taiwan, has warned the U.S. State Department to “stop all forms” of official outreach to Taiwan. This might actually signal a warming of tensions, consider a few months ago China was threatening to fly fighter jets over Taiwan if U.S.-Taiwan relations continued to warm. China also threatened “all-out war” if Taiwan fires on the jets. That same time, Taiwan reported the largest incursion by the Chinese air force yet.
The United States said it would defend Taiwan in the face of Chinese incursions into Taiwanese airspace a few months ago. China sent more fighter jets into Taiwanese air space as a result, escalating their show of force. Taiwan threatened to shoot down the Chinese drones in its airspace, if they get too close to the Taiwanese-controlled Pratas Islands.
Chinese drones were spotted gathering intelligence around Taiwan, according to the Taiwanese coast guard. Eleven Chinese warplanes flew into Taiwanese airspace on Monday, part of China’s rising imperial aspirations. Earlier this month, China, as part of its usual change-of-presidency bellicosity, warned the United States against interfering with China’s designs on Taiwan. Earlier this year, China called Taiwan an “insurmountable red line.”
China was worried that Taiwanese leadership is preparing to declare formal independence, and as a result issued a warning: any such decree means war. The announcement came just days after Taiwan reported a Chinese incursion into their airspace, including eight bombers and four fighters. China has long considered Taiwan part of its own territory.
China was currently in hot water, internationally. The U.S. State Department has labeled China’s treatment of the Uighur people genocide, the harshest criticism of Beijing’s actions. Boris Johnson has announced that the British government will not call the Uighur situation in genocide.
Meanwhile, The Philippines has deployed its air force in response to the 220 Chinese fishing vessels spotted in disputed waters. Earlier this month, the Philippines claimed that the ships were manned by Chinese militia.