China Is Increasing Taiwan Airspace Incursions

VOA (Voice of America)
Date: January 06, 2021
By John Xie

FILE – This photo taken May 25, 2018, by Taiwan’s Defense Ministry shows Taiwan’s F-16 fighter jet, left, monitoring one of two Chinese H-6 bombers that flew over the Bashi Channel south of Taiwan and the Miyako Strait, near Japan’s Okinawa Island.

The number of Chinese incursions into Taiwan’s airspace last year was the highest since 1996, which experts say is worsening the risk for conflict without drawing international headlines.

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) flew about 380 sorties into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) last year, a defense ministry statement said last week.

The PLA began dispatching warplanes toward the island after Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen was re-elected for a second term in January, but the activity dramatically increased in the second half of the year in 2020 and is now almost a daily occurrence.

According to a VOA compilation of flight data drawn from official statements by Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense, Chinese warplanes have flown 138 of these missions since mid-September. Only four days into 2021, six Chinese warplanes had flown into the island's ADIZ.

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