In retaliation for the G7 declaration defending Taiwan, the Chinese government has carried out the largest foray of military planes into the island’s airspace in its history.
“We will never tolerate attempts at independence or reckless intervention in the Taiwan question by foreign forces, so we must react firmly to these acts of collusion,” said Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs office. Taiwan to Beijing.
On Tuesday (15), the Chinese sent 28 planes to Taiwan’s Adiz (acronym for Air Defense Identification Zone), forcing fighters to be sent for interception.
14 J-16 fighters, 6 J-11 fighters and 4 H-6K nuclear capable bombers took part in the operation, in addition to the surveillance planes.
It’s an escalation: since the beginning of the year, records for this type of action, which aim to test the opponent’s reaction speed, have been broken. In March, there were 20 planes. A month later, 25.
On Sunday (12), the club of rich countries made up of the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan had issued a statement containing several condemnations of the positions of China, notably calling for peace and stability with Taiwan.
The tone was pushed by Joe Biden, the American president on European tour and who has his biggest declared strategic rival in Beijing. In his first round, he obtained points by aggregating allies who had been dismissed by his predecessor, Donald Trump, and by obtaining gestures against China.
Wednesday (16), he ends the trip with another problem, that of relations with Russia, during a summit with Vladimir Poutine in Geneva.
China, via its embassy in London, had already considered the G7 document as “defamatory”. And he said the country’s inclusion in a NATO (Western Military Alliance) statement on Monday (13) was an unreasonable threat.
Now he’s giving a more tangible signal of what he sees as red lines in his dealings with the United States and the West in general.
Remarkably, the G7 includes Japan, which has always been cautious in supporting the intention of the autonomous island. Analysts speculate that Tokyo could be even sharper than Washington if the situation escalates into a war to occupy Taiwan.
Such a conflict is one of the greatest strategic fears in the world to militarily pit Beijing against Washington. Since the diplomatic takeover of the countries in 1979, the United States has recognized Taiwan as Chinese territory, but not in practice: it supplies weapons and undertakes to defend the island in the event of an invasion.
The Communist dictatorship does not rule out such action, although in addition to the strategic cost, there is a tactical fear of failing to achieve absorption of the island with democratic government – or to succeed with scorched earth, which is nobody’s wish.
Since last year, still under Trump and his Cold War 2.0, the United States has leveraged its relationship with Taiwan, increasing military protests from Beijing.
The incursion came as the United States exercised one of its aircraft carrier groups, led by the USS Ronald Reagan, in areas of the South China Sea, another point of military friction between the Americans. and the Chinese.
According to the US Navy, there was no contact between the attack group and the Chinese planes, although that is the risk always posed by this type of maneuver.