This weekend China launched its largest aerial incursions into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in history with a record 52 military jet aircraft on Monday. This followed 38 jets on Friday and another 39 on Saturday. In response, Taiwan scrambled its own F-16 jet fighters and activated its air defense radars and missiles systems.
Reuters reported that:
Taiwan has complained for a year or more of repeated missions by China’s air force near the democratically governed island, often in the southwestern part of its air defence zone close to the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands.
But since Friday, when China marked its national day, the country has embarked upon a massive ramping up of its missions, with almost 150 aircraft flying into the defence zone over the space of four days.
The latest mission included 34 J-16 fighters and 12 nuclear-capable H-6 bombers, which all flew in an area in the vicinity of the Pratas Islands, according to a map provided by the ministry. A further four Chinese fighters were spotted on Monday night, taking the total to the day to 56 aircraft.
More ominously, in an interview with Australian broadcasting – ABC, Taiwan’s Foreign Minister, Joseph Wu, warned that Taiwan is preparing for war with China and urged its Australian neighbor to help.
In the interview Wu told ABC that his nation will repel any coming attack, “The defense of Taiwan is in our own hands, and we are absolutely committed to that. If China is going to launch a war against Taiwan we will fight to the end, and that is our commitment.”
However, Wu also appealed for help to Australia’s leaders in Canberra by stating: “We would like to engage in security or intelligence exchanges with other like-minded partners, Australia included, so Taiwan is better prepared to deal with the war situation.”
“And so far, our relations with Australia [are] very good and that is what we appreciate,” Wu added.
While Australia does not formally recognize Taiwan, it has become a key pillar of U.S. effort to contain communist China’s expansionism and belligerence in the region. First as part of the QUAD with India, Japan and the United States, and more recently with the Australia, UK, US, security pact (AUKUS).
The ABC interview is set for broadcast on Monday evening (local time).
Wu ended the interview on a defiant note: “I’m sure that if China is going to launch an attack against Taiwan…they are going to suffer tremendously as well.”
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