Yesterday, 38 Chinese military planes flew across an area near Taiwan, says Taiwanese Department of Defense. That is a record number of aircraft flying into Taiwans so-called Air Defense Identification Zone in one day, according to the department. This zone is an area where warplanes are restricted.
These were two waves, including fighter jets and bombers. Taiwan took off fighter planes as a warning to Beijing.
The Taiwan and China relationship is very tense. The island, which is seen as renegade province by China but considers itself a sovereign state, has been complaining of intimidating Chinese air force operations for more than a year. “China is willfully involved in military aggression, which harms regional peace,” says Taiwanese Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang.
Beijings display of power coincides with the festive commemoration of the founding of the Peoples Republic of China, now 72 years ago. The Chinese government has not yet responded to the Taiwanese accusation. Previously, Beijing said about such flights that they are meant to protect Chinese sovereignty.
Last year, Taiwan reported 380 similar actions by Peoples Republic aircraft. This years number is 500 so far, and two years ago Chinese President Xi Jinping said Taiwan belongs to China and that he kept the option to use “all the necessary resources” to embody the island. He repeated that message at the centenary of the Chinese Communist Party last July.
China had mostly turned in for decades, but that time seems to be over now, correspondent Sjoerd den Daas explained last year: