The Chinese military sent 28 aircraft into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Tuesday, making it the largest show of force by the communist nation to date. The air mission included several high-grade military aircraft, including fighters and nuclear-capable bombers.
According to Taiwan’s Defense Ministry, the latest Chinese incursion included the deployment of 14 J-16 and six J-11 fighters, H-6 bombers, anti-submarine, electronic warfare and early warning aircraft. As noted by Reuters, H-6 bombers are capable of carrying and firing nuclear weapons.
In response, Taiwan deployed its own air patrol forces, while also activating its anti-aircraft missile system to “pursue surveillance” of the situation. The Chinese government has yet to issue a statement on the matter.
28 PLA aircraft (Y-8 ASW, H-6*4, Y-8 EW, KJ-500 AEW&C*2, J-16*14 and J-11*6) entered #Taiwan’s southwest ADIZ on June. 15, 2021. Please check our official website for more information: https://t.co/JnfN8bOwgl pic.twitter.com/MBJv2jbNMZ
— 國防部 Ministry of National Defense, R.O.C. 🇹🇼 (@MoNDefense) June 15, 2021
The latest move by China comes following statements issued by the Group of Seven (G7) member states, whose leaders “remain seriously concerned about the situation in and around the East and South China Seas.”
“We underscore the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and encourage the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues,” the joint communique read. “We reiterate our strong opposition to any unilateral actions that could escalate tensions and undermine regional stability and the international rules-based order and express serious concerns about reports of militarisation, coercion, and intimidation in the region.”
In response, Taiwan presidential office spokesman Xavier Chang expressed his gratitude for the show of support, stating that the island nation will continue to strengthen its partnership with G7 states, while also striving for greater support from the international community.
“Taiwan will certainly adhere to its role as a responsible member of the region, and it will also firmly defend the democratic system and safeguard shared universal values,” Chang said, while adding that the island nation will “firmly contribute the greatest force for good” for peace and stability in the East Asia region.