HomeExpansionismChina Sends Record 103 Military Jets to Harrass Taiwan - War Imminent?

China Sends Record 103 Military Jets to Harrass Taiwan – War Imminent?

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In an unsettling display of military might, China recently sent a record-breaking 103 warplanes toward Taiwan within a single 24-hour timeframe. This move has been labelled as “harassment” by Taiwan’s defense ministry, heightening concerns of potential conflict in the already tense region.

Taiwan detected these planes between 6 a.m. on a Sunday and 6 a.m. the following Monday. While it’s not unusual for Chinese warplanes to approach Taiwan, they usually do so in far smaller numbers. As per routine, these planes turned back before actually reaching Taiwanese airspace. Yet, the sheer number was alarming.

For a bit of historical context, Taiwan and China split in 1949 following a civil war. While the Communists took control of mainland China, the losing Nationalists fled and established their own government in Taiwan. Fast forward to today, the two sides have yet to reconcile, with China viewing Taiwan as a part of its territory, despite the fact that the island has been self-governing for decades and operates as an independent nation. Few countries officially recognize Taiwan as sovereign, although many, including the United States, maintain informal relationships with the island.

China’s increasing military drills around Taiwan, both in the skies and the waters, point to escalating tensions not just between the two entities, but also involving the United States. The U.S., as Taiwan’s primary arms supplier, has openly opposed any forceful change to Taiwan’s current status.

But China’s actions aren’t solely about flexing military muscles. Recently, the Chinese government revealed plans for a development zone in Fujian province, close to Taiwan. The move is seen by many experts as a “carrot and stick” tactic – attempting to allure Taiwan with economic benefits while simultaneously showcasing military power.

The timing of these actions is also critical. With Taiwan’s presidential elections scheduled for January, some speculate China’s intensified activities might be an attempt to influence the election outcome. The currently ruling Democratic Progressive Party in Taiwan, which leans towards the island’s formal independence, isn’t in favor with China’s leadership. On the contrary, China has shown preference for opposition candidates more inclined to collaborate with the mainland.

Besides the 103 warplanes, Taiwan’s defense ministry also highlighted the intrusion of 40 planes past the median line in the Taiwan Strait and reported sightings of nine Chinese naval vessels in the surrounding waters.

China’s assertiveness isn’t limited to just Taiwan. In a demonstration of maritime power, China dispatched a fleet, including the aircraft carrier Shandong, into waters close to Taiwan. This naval display closely followed an instance where U.S. and Canadian warships sailed through the Taiwan Strait.

Reacting to these events, Taiwan’s defense ministry issued a statement urging Beijing “to bear responsibility and immediately stop such kind of destructive military activities.” The ministry warned that such provocations could easily amplify tensions and destabilize regional security.

China’s persistence in these actions has raised eyebrows and concerns globally. With the region’s stability on a knife-edge, the world watches closely, hoping diplomatic channels can mitigate the rising tensions.

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