Taiwan Raises the Alarm After Massive Force of Chinese Bombers and Fighters Charges Into Island's Airspace


At least 13 Chinese military planes flew into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone on Saturday, the highest recorded number of incidents in a single day so far this year.

One Y-8 anti-submarine aircraft, four J-16 fighter jets and eight H-6k bombers flew into the Tawain’s ADIZ, according to Taiwan News.

The first People’s Liberation Army Air Force aircraft reportedly entered the airspace at around 10:12 a.m., followed four minutes later by some of the other planes.

The aircraft flew at altitudes ranging from 2,500 to 7,800 meters, Taiwan News reported.

Taiwan’s Air Force reportedly scrambled together 26 jets to counter seven of the incursions that occurred in the southwest corner of the ADIZ.

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The air force also deployed missiles to “monitor” the aircraft, ABS-CBN reported, citing the Taiwan Defense Ministry.

“Airborne alert sorties had been tasked, radio warnings issued and air defense missile systems deployed to monitor the activity,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

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It is unclear at this time why China has stepped up the number of incursions at one time; previous occasions only saw one to three aircraft.

This is not the first time Taiwan has had to scramble together jets in response to Chinese aircraft buzzing the island.

China has conducted almost daily flights over Taiwan, which it claims as a territory, over the past few months, according to ABS-CBN.

In September, fighter jets had to be deployed to counter 18 Chinese aircraft that were responding to a senior U.S. official holding talks in Taipei, Reuters reported.

Keith Krach, then the U.S. undersecretary for economic affairs, had arrived for a three-day visit, prompting China to pledge a “necessary response.”

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“The PLA’s aggressive and destabilizing reactions reflect a continued attempt to alter the status quo and rewrite history,” a Pentagon spokesman said at the time.

China has watched the relationship between the United States and Taiwan with concern.

The island’s de facto ambassador even attended President Joe Biden’s inauguration Wednesday.

Emily Horne, spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, told ABS-CBN that the U.S.’s commitment to Taiwan was “rock solid.”

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith