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Chinese War Planes Enter Taiwan’s Air Defense Zone amid Ukraine Invasion

Nine Chinese military aircraft have entered the air defense identification zone (ADIZ) of Taiwan in the hours following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Taiwan’s defense ministry released a statement to confirm the breach from China, noting that Taiwanese air assets were scrambled in response.

The news comes amid fears that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is planning to invade Taiwan after watching the weak response to Russia’s aggression.

The CCP has sent such incursions into Taiwan’s airspace continuously over the last two years in an apparent attempt to intimidate and exhaust Taiwan’s military.

Thursday’s breach marked the 13th incursion this month.

The last large-scale incursion was in late January when the Chinese communist regime sent 39 aircraft into Taiwan’s ADIZ.

The ADIZ is not the airspace directly over Taiwan, but in the immediately surrounding area wherein identification, location information, and government control of aircraft is required for security purposes.

Taiwanese military aircraft are scrambled to respond to each such incursion.

The CCP claims that Taiwan, which has been self-governed since 1949, is a breakaway province.

CCP leader Xi Jinping has vowed to “reunify” the island with the mainland and has refused to rule out the use of force in doing so.

Taiwan’s defense ministry said that the latest incursion consisted of eight fighters and one reconnaissance aircraft.

The incident comes as Taiwan’s government leadership watches the ongoing crisis in Ukraine with concern.

Defense and security experts believe that the international response to that crisis could inform the CCP’s strategy for a future invasion of Taiwan.

To that end, the ongoing conflict in Ukraine has become emblematic of a greater struggle between authoritarianism and the democratic way of life.

Something that Taiwan leadership has been keen to point out.

“The people and government of Taiwan stand with Ukraine,” Taiwan Vice-President Lai Ching-te wrote in a tweet.

“The principle of self-determination cannot be erased by brute force.”

Taiwanese fighter jets and air defense missiles were deployed to monitor Thursday’s incursion, a standard response.

Taipei has not reported unusual troop movement from the CCP.

But the island’s government has increased its alert level and called for increased combat readiness.

The prospect of invasion from the mainland has raised concerns over the United States’ policy of so-called “strategic ambiguity,” wherein it will neither openly confirm nor deny its willingness to engage in military defense of the island.

Under the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, however, the United States is obligated to provide the island with the means of sustaining its self-defense capabilities.

Relatedly, a poll conducted by the Trafalgar group in January found that a majority of Americans, irrespective of political affiliation, supported a potential U.S. military defense of Taiwan in the event of CCP invasion.

In October, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen swore that the self-governed island would defend itself and its “free and democratic way of life” from CCP aggression at all costs.

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