Dhe military tensions around Taiwan are increasing again. The Chinese Air Force invaded the Taiwan Air Defense Zone with a total of 53 aircraft on Sunday and Monday. It was the most extensive air maneuver since October, when Beijing dispatched almost 150 aircraft to the southern part of Taiwan’s air defense zone within four days.
In Taiwan, the threatening gesture was taken as a message to the United States and Japan. The two countries held joint naval maneuvers in the Philippine Sea east of Taiwan last week.
The two American aircraft carriers USS Carl Vinson and USS Abraham Lincoln, two amphibious assault groups and a Japanese helicopter destroyer were involved. The commander of the US Seventh Fleet stationed in Japan, Vice Admiral Karl Thomas, wrote on Twitter: “Freedom at its finest.” The aim is to demonstrate American commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.
“Intervention in China’s Internal Affairs”
According to American sources, US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida agreed in a telephone call last week to jointly push back China’s encroachment in the East and South China Seas. From the Japanese point of view, it is also about the Japanese-controlled Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, which China also claims for itself. A spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Monday accused both countries of “unfounded hate speech and attacks against China” and “interference in China’s internal affairs”.
The American aircraft carrier associations drove to further maneuvers in the South China Sea on Sunday, the Pentagon announced on Monday. Among other things, exercises to defend against enemy submarines are planned.
In addition to combat aircraft, electronic warfare aircraft were also involved in the Chinese maneuvers in the Taiwanese air defense zone. In response, the Taiwan Air Force launched its own fighter jets. Experts assume that China’s almost daily maneuvers around Taiwan are also about the wear and tear of Taiwan’s military resources. Just a few days ago, a Taiwanese fighter pilot died in an F-16V crash. Taiwan is pushing to speed up delivery of 70 new American F-16s fighter jets planned by 2026.