On the Chinese National Day, Chinese fighter planes have now penetrated Taiwanese airspace. It’s a good question how to look at the entry of PLAF fighter jets into Taiwanese identification zones. In its self-portrayal, the Global Times vacillates between routine maneuvers and then as an alleged reaction to the passage of two US aircraft carriers near the Taiwan Strait, definitely China wants to demonstrate Taiwanese impotence, because trying to push Chinese planes away would be ver risky and shooting them down would mean war. In the future, it is to be expected that China will gradually expand its penetration into Taiwanese airspace, but to what extent ? Here the Global Times:
PLA expands drills near Taiwan island only one day after setting new record
By Global Times Published: Oct 03, 2021 12:06 PM
Only one day after the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) dispatched 38 warplanes near the island of Taiwan for exercise on National Day, breaking the previous record set in June, it again refreshed this record on Saturday, sending a total of 39 aircraft of different types near the island during both day and night, according to defense authorities on the island.
The 20 PLA aircraft, namely 14 J-16 fighter jets, four Su-30 fighter jets, and two Y-8 anti-submarine warfare aircraft, entered the island of Taiwan’s self-proclaimed southwest air defense identification zone on Saturday, Taiwan’s defense authorities said in a press release published the same day.
On early Sunday, Taiwan’s defense authorities published a separate press release, saying that at Saturday night, 19 additional PLA aircraft, namely 12 J-16 fighter jets, six Su-30 fighter jets and a KJ-500 early warning aircraft, entered the island of Taiwan’s self-proclaimed southwest air defense identification zone.
Both exercises, featuring a total of 39 PLA aircraft, were held in areas between the island of Taiwan and the Dongsha Islands in the South China Sea, the press releases stated.
This also means that the previous record of 38 PLA warplanes taking part in the drills near the island of Taiwan in a day was eclipsed only one day after it was set.
Chinese mainland military expert Song Zhongping told the Global Times on Saturday that the increasing scale of exercises is normal and routine since the PLA needs more deployment to deter armed forces on the island and foreign interference from other nations.
Nighttime drills are important because combat could take place at any time, Song said.
The record-breaking PLA exercises over the past two days could also be related to recent movements of US aircraft carriers, some other Chinese mainland military analysts said.
Both the USS Ronald Reagan and USS Carl Vinson aircraft carriers were sailing in waters near the island of Taiwan on September 27, the news website of the US Naval Institute reported on the day.
In another article by the Global Times, the invasion of Taiwnaese airspace is proclaimed as a military parade on the National Day, this time not on Tiananmen Square, but over Taiwan.
“Record number of PLA warplanes flying over Taiwan Straits as form of National Day ‘military parade’: Global Times editorial
By Global Times Published: Oct 03, 2021 04:13 PM
Just one day after the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) sent 38 war planes for exercises near the island of Taiwan on Friday, which also marks National Day, the PLA dispatched 39 aircraft over the island’s self-proclaimed southwest air defense identification zone. This has consecutively broken the previous record of the scale of exercises in this area. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities in the island were shocked once again, while public opinion in the US and the West continue to speculate on the move.
The PLA has done an excellent job! This can be seen as a form of the National Day military parade in the Taiwan Straits, which used to be held at the Tiananmen Square in Beijing. It is a clear and unmistakable declaration of China’s sovereignty over the island. This is apt given the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, greatly encouraging people nationwide, and highlighted and emphasized to a new height the special significance of the National Day.
The 38 and 39 warplanes dispatched in two consecutive days to the exercise during the day and night near the island of Taiwan were not a guard of honor. They are fighting forces aimed at actual combat. The increase in the number of aircraft showed the PLA Air Force’s operational capabilities. The warplanes that gathered over the Straits were possibly dispatched from different airports, showing the strong ability of the PLA to form a wartime air attack.
According to statistics from Taiwan island, the PLA has sent warplanes into the island’s „airspace“ in 198 days so far this year. Such a number reflects that the PLA has carried out wide-ranged and profound operations to familiarize itself with battlefield conditions, with a large number of PLA Air Force units having experience flying close to the island. Once the order to attack is given, the PLA’s pilots will fight as „experienced veterans.“
The DPP authorities have violated the 1992 consensus and are recklessly in pursuit of secessionism. They are willing to act as an anti-China chess piece in conjunction with the US, and thus has pushed the Straits situation to the brink. They have constantly hyped up claims that they are at the forefront of the so-called democratic world to resist „authoritarian rule.“ They have thus turned themselves into a block that the Chinese mainland must get rid of strategically and an evil force the mainland must crush.
The PLA is forming a siege of Taiwan with a show of strength as it did in Beijing in 1949. There is no doubt about the future of the situation across the Taiwan Straits. The initiative of when and how to solve the Taiwan question is firmly in the hands of the Chinese mainland.
German China expert Professor van Ess commented the provocation as follows:
“The message to the USA is certainly wanted. You are welcome to drive around there, but the Taiwanese only get in trouble with it. And to the Taiwanese: don’t dare go a step too far. I think that flying into Taiwanese airspace will be repeated cyclically, also because it makes China`s own generals happy.”
It is also interesting that the US was first silent. Blinken had previously sent a very conciliatory congratulatory address to China in view of the National Day, which the Chinese are now responding to. But the background is also the coming Summit of Democracies, a possible invitation to Taiwan and the question about the renaming of the Taiwanese Representative Office, which the Global Times already referred to as red lines with which one should react to penetration into Taiwanese airspace. And don’t forget AUKUS and the new government in Japan, which also want to get involved in Tawain. A kind of Chinese forward „defense“ to show determination.
The reaction from the USA and Taiwan are protests and the announcemnet that hy US Deputy Sectretary of Defense Hicks that the USA could “tamp down” any Chinese invasion of Taiwan and warns China o make “miscalculations. Taiwan now realizes that its east coast is not safe and that the whole island is within range of PLAF bombers. Is that a surprise? Now they also want to build air raid shelters. Didn’t they have one yet? Or not enough?
„Su slams PRC’s incursions with 38 jets
‘DAMAGING PEACE’: Calling the forays into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone ‘wanton,’ Su said the international community is increasingly renouncing the bullying
- Staff writer, with CNA
Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday criticized China after 38 of its military aircraft crossed into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Friday, the most in a single day since Taiwan began issuing a tally on such incursions in September last year.
On Friday evening, the Ministry of National Defense reported that 25 Chinese planes had crossed into the nation’s southeastern ADIZ, between Taiwan proper and the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Island, 東沙群島).
It identified the planes as 18 J-16 fighter jets, four SU-30 fighters, two H-6 bombers and one Y-8 anti-submarine warfare plane.
Late on Friday night, the ministry reported that 13 Chinese aircraft had entered the southwestern ADIZ, identifying them as 10 J-16 fighter jets, two H-6 bombers and one KJ-500, which is a third-generation airborne early warning and control aircraft.
The J-16 fighters and the H-6 bombers entered the ADIZ from the direction of China’s Fujian and Guangdong provinces, crossed the Bashi Channel and returned to China, while the KJ-500 entered the ADIZ from the direction of Guangdong, before returning to China, ministry data showed.
The incursions came on the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
In response, Taiwan’s air force scrambled planes to monitor the Chinese aircraft, issued radio warnings and mobilized air defense assets, the ministry said.
Before Friday’s incursion, the most Chinese military planes to enter the ADIZ in a single day was 28 on June 15, two days after the G7 issued a statement highlighting the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.
Later yesterday, the ministry said that another 20 Chinese air force planes had crossed into the ADIZ.
“China has been wantonly engaging in military aggression, damaging regional peace,” Su said.
China has used a wide range of bullying tactics against Taiwan, but the actions have increasingly been renounced by other countries, Su said.
Shu Hsiao-huang (舒孝煌), a research fellow at the Institute for National Defense and Security Research, said that the J-16 is the main fighter jet of China’s air force, and mobilizing 16 of them was perhaps aimed at familiarizing its pilots with the air space around Taiwan.
It could be a training exercise to acclimatize pilots to long-range flights, as well as coordinating with bombers, he added.
Taiwan should boost defenses in its southwestern air space, he said, adding that improving its intelligence gathering capabilities in the area could give the military more time to deploy mobile anti-air missile trucks on the east coast.
Retired air force deputy commander lieutenant general Chang Yen-ting (張延廷) said previous assumptions that Taiwan’s east coast is relatively safe are no longer true.
The route taken by the Chinese planes demonstrates that the whole of Taiwan is now within bombing range of its air force, and Taiwan’s military should begin establishing hardened aircraft shelters, Chang said.
The US warns and protests, but what should they do? Allegedly, according to the Taipei Times, the infiltration into the ADIZs was a reaction to statements made by the Taiwanese Minister for Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu at the Hoover Institution. Interesting that Taiwan’s ADIZs also include mainland Chinese territory which in itself could be perceived by China as a provocation fromTaiwan:
„US calls on Beijing to halt provocation of Taiwan
The US yesterday called on China to halt its “provocative” pressure on Taiwan after a record number of daily incursions by Chinese warplanes, saying the military actions are destabilizing and risk leading to “miscalculations.”
“The US commitment to Taiwan is rock solid and contributes to the maintenance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and within the region,” US Department of State spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.
The flybys close to Taiwan on Saturday extended a Chinese display of military might as the country entered a second day of celebrations of communist China’s founding. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army on Saturday sent 39 military aircraft into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) and 38 on Friday, the Ministry of Defense wrote on Twitter.
The US “is very concerned by the People’s Republic of China’s provocative military activity near Taiwan, which is destabilizing, risks miscalculations, and undermines regional peace and stability,” Price said. “We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure and coercion against Taiwan.”
The incursions came as China began to celebrate the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
Hu Xijin (胡錫進), editor-in-chief of China’s Global Times, said Taiwan should probably expect more similar incidents.
“These warplanes appearing at Taiwan Straits on China’s National Day is a new ceremony of Chinese people to celebrate the holiday,” he wrote on Twitter. “There could be more warplanes appearing there next year on the National Day, if Taiwan authorities continue their provocation.”
The show of force comes after China’s Taiwan Affairs Office issued a denunciation of Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) on its Sina Weibo account.
China derided his efforts to strengthen Taiwan’s international relations as “shrilling and moaning,” and “the buzzing of flies.”
The statement followed Wu’s assertion, in a speech on Monday last week at the Hoover Institution in the US, that Taiwan is under constant threat from China, including gray zone tactics and information security attacks.
China has increased its diplomatic, economic and military pressure on Taiwan over the past year.
The Chinese air force made more than 500 incursions into Taiwan’s ADIZ in the first nine months of this year, compared with more than 300 a year in the past, Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) told lawmakers.
Twenty-four PLA aircraft flew into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone a week earlier, one day after Taiwan announced it had requested to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Interesting.that Taiiwan’s geopolitical role for the US is justified beyond its geopolitical location for the Pacific and its role of a democratic lighthouse geoeconomically with the existence of Taiwan Semiconductor Manifacturing Company and its role in the global and US supply chains:.
Sun, Oct 03, 2021 page1
US can ‘tamp down’ attack on Taiwan: official
The US is capable of “tamping down” China in the event of an invasion of Taiwan, US Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks said on Friday.
The US remains committed to boosting Taiwan’s defensive capabilities, she told an online forum hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Asked about what the US would do should China attack Taiwan, Hicks said that Washington is watching the situation in the region carefully “day to day.”
“We have a significant amount of capability forward in the region to tamp down any such potential,” Hicks said. “We have good relations, of course, with Taiwan. We have commitments to Taiwan that are enduring since the 1970s.”
The US’ main focus is helping Taiwan increase its capabilities to defend itself in the event of a Chinese invasion, she said.
“The Taiwanese, their ability to defend themselves effectively, is a game-changer in terms of that deterrent calculus for China,” Hicks said.
The US is working closely with its allies and partners, including Taiwan, which has an advanced democratic system and a strong semiconductor manufacturing sector, she said.
“That’s an area we want to have a lot of focus on, as well as our own — and, as I said before, with allies and partners — our own credible demonstration of interests in, frankly, a democracy with an advanced … semiconductor industry,” Hicks said.
“We have an interest in ensuring democracies can flourish,” she added.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) founder Morris Chang (張忠謀) said that the world’s largest contract chipmaker has significant geopolitical value. TSMC has participated in several semiconductor summits at the White House during a prolonged semiconductor shortage affecting the global auto industry, he said.”
While this, Taiwan is speeding up its military modernization and wants to build new runways for its own airforce:
“Military considering Taitung County for runway
The Ministry of National Defense is reportedly considering using a portion of Provincial Highway No. 9 in Taitung County as an emergency runway, following calls last month for a contingency landing strip better protected from Chinese missiles.
The highway is undergoing a years-long improvement plan that includes a new extension skirting the edge of Guanshan Township (關山), fueling rumors that the ministry intends to use it as the nation’s sixth emergency runway, the only one that would be on the east coast.
Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) yesterday confirmed that the defense ministry wants a contingency runway to be built on the east coast, promising full cooperation regarding its ultimate decision.
The original feasibility study for the highway improvement project did not account for use as a runway, which would require a wider road, Directorate-General of Highways Director-General Hsu Cheng-chang (許鉦漳) said.
The defense ministry has been asked to finalize the plan so that the ministries can work together on preparations, he added.
A defense official speaking on condition of anonymity did not deny the plan, but said that many steps would still need to be taken before it could be confirmed.
The existing stretch of Highway No. 9 that runs through Guanshan is only 15m wide, but cannot be easily widened without expropriating and demolishing private buildings.
Transportation officials therefore decided to build a new 30m-wide stretch of road around the town, although a military runway would have to be even wider.
Work on the highway improvement project covering a total of 45.8km is scheduled to be completed in 2027.
The only other provincial highway used as a contingency landing strip is Provincial Highway No. 1 in Pingtung County’s Jiadong Township (佳冬), where fighter jets practiced landing during the annual Han Kuang exercises last month.
The Chinese incursion in the Taiwanses ADIZ is also a warning to the new Japanese goverment. The Global Times already issued an article with a six point Not-to-do list for the new Japanese government including Taiwan;
“It is hoped Kishida won’t push China-Japan relations toward hostility: Global Times editorial
By Global Times Published: Sep 29, 2021 10:36 PM
Japan’s former foreign minister Fumio Kishida on Wednesday won the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)’s presidential election. There is little doubt that he will become Japan’s next prime minister. During the election campaign, several candidates talked a lot about China, launching the most intense wave of hard-line rhetoric against China in Japanese politics in recent years. Kishida, often seen as a dove, also made tough remarks on the most sensitive issues such as upgrading Japan’s missile defense capabilities, including the capacity to attack enemy bases, as well as the changing situation across the Taiwan Straits.
The concentration of China issues in this LDP presidential election has been unprecedented, underscoring an atmosphere of „inevitable“ hostility between China and Japan, „imminent“ conflicts and a showdown. It is just like an anti-China propaganda campaign. The China-Japan relations it displays are much more severe than the reality. Such a situation does not only proactively interact with anti-China public opinion in Japan, but also plays a role in further leading opinions. These may further kidnap China-Japan relations in the future.
Former Japanese internal affairs minister Sanae Takaichi, another candidate who is a far-right figure and who all but described China as an enemy, won 188 votes in the first round of voting, some 60 votes less than Kishida. This is particularly symbolic.
The so-called democratic elections in particular contribute to the emergence and fermentation of radical nationalism. The LDP presidential election in Japan this time is a prominent example. With lower house elections coming up too, this exaggerated hard-line public opinion against China may continue.
However, regarding a rapidly rising China as an enemy, such fanaticism and recklessness are destined to be a grave strategic misunderstanding in Japan, with potentially disastrous consequences. It is hoped that after assuming the LDP presidency, Kishida will play his due role as a political leader to ease Japan’s increasing anti-China sentiment, instead of further promoting a line of tough competition against China. He should be aware that maintaining a prudent China policy is in line with Japan’s national interests.
Japan should not shape itself as China’s enemy under any circumstances. To this end, the following is crucial for Japan.
First, Japan should not return to the road of militarism. Japan has been eager to amend its pacifist constitution in recent years. The amendment is obviously aimed at its neighboring countries, especially China. This will trigger great vigilance among neighboring countries and produce a chain reaction. Japan seeks to revise the post-war constitution to further legitimize the Self-Defense Forces (SDF), possess nuclear-powered submarines, and build long-range strike capabilities. If these are put into practice, it will definitely increase the tension and even hostility between Japan and the entire surrounding region.
Second, Japan cannot participate in any multilateral military alliance that clearly targets China. If the Quad mechanism that Japan has already joined is transformed into a military alliance, the effect will be the same. They will all strongly ramp up the hostility between China and Japan.
Third, Japan’s SDF should not blatantly provoke China like the US military. Under no circumstances should they trigger military frictions between China and Japan.
Fourth, Tokyo needs to be particularly cautious in terms of the Taiwan question. If Japan stirs up the muddy waters of the Taiwan Straits, it is very likely to trigger a new war with China.
Fifth, in regard to old issues including visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, textbooks and the Diaoyu Islands, Japan has to ramp up efforts to control its differences with China, and it should not easily exploit any of them as a card. In particular, it should not engage in new moves to break Japan’s prior practices.
Sixth, in the tech war against China waged by the US, Japan should not coordinate with the US to establish a supply chain excluding China in a bid to undermine China’s economic future. This would be a prominent sign that Tokyo sees Beijing as an enemy.
Japan is a close neighbor of China, and its development was once far ahead of China. Japan had not only showed its disdain for China but had also invaded and hurt China. In the face of the new reality that China’s GDP is three times that of Japan’s, the latter’s society has not psychologically adapted to the situation, and even has some fear. However, turning to the US and being a „pioneer“ in helping it contain China is a deadly strategy for Japan. We believe that even if some Japanese hope to follow this path, it cannot really become Japan’s national policy.
It is hoped that no matter what rhetoric he made during the LDP presidential election campaign, Kishida is clearly aware and also has the willingness and capability to prevent Japan’s China policy from straying too far off course. He should not be the leader who ignites new fires of hatred between China and Japan, nor the one who pushes China and Japan into an all-out confrontation.