søndag 25. april 2021

Why does mainland China keep sending planes into Taiwan’s air defence zone?

The regular incursions by Chinese warplanes into Taiwan’s southwest air defence identification zone serve multiple purposes, according to military observers. As well as helping to train its pilots and intimidate Taiwan while wearing down its air force, the flights are also meant to gather intelligence on the US and other countries operating between the Bashi Channel and South China Sea and familiarise the People’s Liberation Army with the area.

Data released by Taiwan’s defence ministry shows that since the beginning of last year, more than 650 PLA warplanes have entered Taiwan’s southwest air defence identification zone on their way to the Bashi Channel – the gateway to the western Pacific and the disputed South China Sea. Most of the incursions involve small numbers of planes, but there have also been several large-scale flights, including one involving 25 warplanes on April 12 – the largest of its kind since Taiwan started making the sorties public in September last year.