Since Taiwan began publicly reporting such activities last year, 38 and 39 aircraft, respectively, have recorded the highest number of intrusions in a day.
The infiltrations on Saturday came in two volumes – 20 flights during the day and 19 flights at night, the ministry said in two reports. They were made up of 26 J-16 fighter jets, 10 Su-30 fighter jets, two Y-8 submarine warning aircraft and a KJ-500 aerial early warning and control aircraft, the defense ministry said.
The ministry added that in response to the intrusions, the Taiwanese Air Force chased down the aircraft, issued radio alerts and used air defense missile systems.
Maps provided by the Taiwan Ministry of Defense on Saturday showed all Chinese planes in the extreme southwestern part of the island’s ADIZ.
These intrusions did not encroach on Taiwan’s airspace, which stretches 12 nautical miles off its coast. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration defines an ADIZ as “the designated area of an airspace on land or water that requires immediate and positive identification, location, and air traffic control for a country in the national security interest.”
The incursions on Friday came 72 years after the Beijing People’s Republic of China was founded in 1949.
Taiwan and the mainland of China have been managed separately since the end of the civil war seven decades ago, in which the defeated nationalists fled to Taipei.
However, Beijing regards Taiwan as an inseparable part of its territory – although the Chinese Communist Party has never ruled a democratic island of about 24 million people.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has refused to reject military force to seize Taiwan if necessary.
In the past, analysts have said that PLA’s aircraft serve many purposes in China, both of which demonstrate PLA’s strength to domestic audiences and bring Chinese military intelligence and capabilities to any conflict involving Taiwan.
“Xi Jinping has advised the PLA to increase its readiness and fight the war under ‘realistic combat conditions’. Therefore, it is not surprising that the PLA should continue to fly to Taiwan’s ADIZ as part of realistic training and preparation for armed conflict,” said RAND Corp.’s Policy Thinking Group RAND Corporation. Told CNN.
Despite the proliferation of PLA aircraft and harsh rhetoric, Grossman did not think war was imminent.
“I do not think there is a high or medium probability of a Chinese attack or an invasion of Taiwan,” he told CNN.
“The PLA still has many vulnerabilities, especially when faced with almost specific US intervention — perhaps? —With Japanese and Australian support,” he added. “China understands the serious shortcomings of a failed attack or invasion of Taiwan and will probably continue its time.”
But other analysts say no news from Beijing is about Taiwan’s main island.
Maps provided by Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense show that PLA Air Force planes are approaching the island of Pradas, located on the top of the South China Sea and actually closer to Hong Kong than Taiwan.
The island has no permanent residents but has a small Taiwanese military contingent and an airstrip. Analysts point out that it is flat and difficult to protect.
“The islands are now a potential flash point for the attention of the United States, Japan and other democracies,” Okasawara wrote.
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