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World China Sends 28 Planes Near Taiwan in Year’s Largest Exercise

04:40  16 june  2021
04:40  16 june  2021 Source:   bloomberg.com

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(Bloomberg) -- China’s air force sent 28 aircraft close to Taiwan, the largest sortie this year, further ratcheting up military pressure on the government in Taipei as it seeks to strengthen ties with the U.S.

a large air plane on a runway at an airport: China Sends 28 Planes Near Taiwan in Year’s Largest Exercise © Photographer: Feature China/Getty Images/Barcroft Media China Sends 28 Planes Near Taiwan in Year’s Largest Exercise

The 28 People’s Liberation Army aircraft, including 14 J-16 and six J-11 fighters, were detected in Taiwan’s southwestern air defense identification zone Tuesday, Taiwan’s defense ministry said in a statement. Taipei’s military sent patrol aircraft, issued radio warnings and deployed air defense missile systems to monitor the activity.

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Chinese military aircraft have frequently entered the southwest part of Taiwan’s ADIZ over the past year as the PLA has steadily picked up military activity around the democratically-ruled island. Washington and Beijing have been issuing warnings to each other regarding Taiwan since U.S. President Joe Biden took office in January, adding to tensions that increased steadily during the Trump administration.

The most recent exchange emerged from the Group of Seven summit in the U.K. over the weekend as leaders, at Biden’s behest, expressed concerns over Taiwan as well as Xinjiang and Hong Kong. China responded by calling the U.S. “very ill.”

Military Sends Reminder

China claims Taiwan as part of its territory and has repeatedly threatened to take control of the island by military force if necessary to prevent Taipei from making a move toward formal independence. The Chinese Defense Ministry said in April that the Liaoning aircraft carrier had carried out exercises near Taiwan and the navy would plan more drills.

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  China Shows Off Army, Navy Landing Capabilities After U.S. Senators Visit Taiwan The military exercise, which took place on an unspecified date, was released on Monday following the whirlwind visit to Taipei by three sitting U.S. senators.The People's Liberation Army (PLA) drill took place at an unspecified time and place off the coast of Fujian province in southeastern China, according to separate reports published Monday by the PLA's Eastern Theater Command and China's state broadcaster CCTV.

“This big mission is a reminder that China has not renounced the use of force against Taiwan, and its size and composition broadcasts Beijing’s willingness to actively confront, with military might if necessary, anyone who opposes it,” said Drew Thompson, a former official overseeing military-to-military relations for the U.S. defense secretary, who is now a visiting senior research fellow at the National University of Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

Why Taiwan Is the Biggest Risk for a U.S.-China Clash: QuickTake

The government of President Tsai Ing-wen views Taiwan as an already de facto sovereign nation. Earlier this month, a bipartisan U.S. congressional delegation visited Taiwan prompting criticism from Chinese nationalists online. China’s top diplomat, Yang Jiechi, urged the U.S. to tread carefully on issues relating to Taiwan last week in a call with Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

So long as the PLA Air Force acts in accordance with international norms and agreements, the chances of an accident are small, Thompson said.

“Should PLA planes operate in a reckless fashion -- regardless of how justified Beijing feels about applying military pressure towards Taiwan or its neighbors -- then the risk of an accident increases considerably,” he said.

(Updates with U.S. comments from G-7 summit in fourth paragraph.)

More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Joe Biden Keeps Up Pressure on China as U.S. Navy Warship Passes Taiwan Strait .
A U.S. Navy destroyer sailed through the sensitive waters of the Taiwan Strait for a sixth time under the Biden administration on Tuesday, drawing fresh criticism from China.The strait separating China from Taiwan proper is about 80 miles wide at its narrowest point, while Taiwan's outlying islands of Kinmen, or Quemoy, lie just over 3 miles from the Chinese coast.

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