China invaded Taiwan's air defense area with its second largest incursion of 2011. According to Taipei, 30 aircraft entered the zone. This included 20 fighters. These incursions are larger than the January 23rd entry of 39 aircraft into Taiwan's Air Defense Identification Zone ("Adiz")
Taiwan's defense minister said Monday night that he had removed his own planes and placed air defense missile systems in place to monitor Chinese activities. Beijing has been invading Taiwan's Defense Zone for years to express its discontent and keep Taipei’s aging air force under threat.
China's constant invasion threat puts the island in danger. Beijing regards this territory as its own and has pledged to return it, if necessary. Last week, the United States accused Beijing of increasing tensions over Taiwan. Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State, explicitly mentioned aerial incursions as an example "increasing activity and rhetoric". more provocative".
Just days before, Joe Biden, the US President, had stated that Washington would defend Taiwan militarily in case of attack by China. The White House maintained that it had not changed its policy of strategic ambiguity on whether or not to interfere. The Adiz of Taiwan is larger than its airspace, and intersects with China's Adiz at some points or even its territory.
The Ministry of Defense provided a flight map showing that the planes entered the Adiz from the southwest before they exited. According to the AFP database last year, Taiwan saw a record 969 Chinese military air incursions. This is more than twice the 380 incursions that occurred in 2020.
56 aircraft entered Taiwan's Adiz on the 4th of October 2021. This was compared to 196 entering the Adiz for the entire month of October, which begins with the Chinese national holiday. This year, Taiwan has reported 465 incursions, almost half the number of those that entered last year.
These incursions have put pressure on Taiwanese aviation which has suffered a series fatal accidents in recent times. Local media reported Tuesday that a pilot died in a plane crash in Kaohsiung in the south.
In January, a pilot died after his F-16V, Taiwan's most advanced aircraft, crashed at sea. After the collision of two fighters (one killed, one missing), Taipei put all its military aviation in lockdown in March 2021. This was the third fatal accident in six months.