China-Taiwan tensions boil as Peoples Liberation Army jets breach Taipeis airspace

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According to Taiwan’s Defence Ministry, Chinese military aircraft entered Taipei’s southwestern on August 25. It marks the latest airspace incursion from Beijing over Taiwan this year, with 11 Chinese jets violating the space earlier in August.

In a post from Taiwan’s Defence Ministry, they shared China sent a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Y-8 ASW over Taipei’s southwest Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ).

The alert was delivered from the Government ministry at 3.25pm BST.

It marks the latest airspace incursion from China, with Monday seeing two jets, a Y-8 EW and a Y-8 ASW, entering Taiwan’s southwest ADIZ

On Sunday, one PLA Y-8 ASW entered the same part of Taiwan’s airspace.

Taiwan’s Air Force has responded in the past to Chinese incursions by scrambling jets to shadow the PLA, issuing radio warnings and deploying air defence missile systems to monitor their activity.

June 15 saw the most Chinese jets over Taiwan, with a record 28 warplanes enter Taipei’s airspace.

On August 18, China sent six fighter jets, two bombers and three surveillance aircraft over Taiwan.

Local media outlet SET TV said the incursion also coincided with a US naval mission involving an EP-3E spy plane and P-8A anti-submarine aircraft near Taiwan’s southwest ADIZ and the Bashi Channel.

China has staged an extensive air and sea military exercise near Taiwan in response to what they call “provocations” from independence forces.

Shi Yi, colonel and spokesman for the PLA’s Eastern Theatre Command, recently admitted China has sent anti-submarine aircraft, fighter jets and warships to the southwest and southeast of Taiwan to test the joint operation’s capabilities.

He said: “Recently, the United States and Taiwan have repeatedly provoked and sent serious wrong signals, severely infringed upon China’s sovereignty and severely undermined the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait, which has become the biggest source of security risks across the Taiwan Strait.

“This exercise is a necessary action based on the current security situation across the Taiwan Strait and the need to safeguard national sovereignty.”

It comes after Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the Chinese state-run Global Times, threatened “immediate war” against the US and Taiwan after a senator posted supposedly incorrect figures about American troops on the island.

US Senator John Cornyn, Republican for Texas, posted on Twitter figures of American soldiers stationed in foreign countries.

Mr Cornyn’s post said that 30,000 US troops are currently stationed in Taiwan.

Commenters believe Mr Cornyn is referencing the size of the United States Taiwan Defense Command, which boasted 30,000 troops from Combined Arms and branches but ceased operations in 1979.

Nonetheless, Mr Hu said: “If it is true that the US has 30,000, or less than that number, soldiers stationed on the Taiwan island, Chinese military forces will immediately launch a war to eliminate and expel the US soldiers.”

It also comes after China warned Taiwan the US “fleeing action” is a forecast of what would happen in a war, in an apparent reference to the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan.

Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of the China Foreign Affairs University, warned the US could “cast aside” Taiwan should it fight for its sovereignty.

He told the Global Times: “The US’ fleeing action is a warning to the Taiwan secessionists, or rather, a forecast.”

Jin Canrong, associate dean of the School of International Studies at the Renmin University of China, echoed Mr Li’s remarks.

He said the US would make an “empty promise” to Taipei as it did with Afghanistan.

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