According to Taipei’s defense ministry, twenty-five Chinese warplanes flew through Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Monday. The flights marked the most significant Chinese passage through Taiwan’s ADIZ since the defense ministry began disclosing such flights last September.
While there is much hype surrounding these Chinese flights, Taiwan’s ADIZ is not part of its airspace, and the Chinese planes usually pass through the southwest corner of the ADIZ, far from the island of Taiwan.
The Chinese planes that transit Taiwan’s ADIZ could just be going to and from military drills in the South China Sea. But Beijing is aware that the incursions will gain a lot of attention in the Western media, so the flights that involve a large number of aircraft are likely meant to send a message to Taipei and Washington.
China also sends planes through the ADIZ in response to the US military provocations in the region and Washington’s efforts to strengthen ties with Taipei. Over the past week, the US sailed a warship through the Taiwan Strait, announced a new policy that encourages stronger ties between US and Taiwanese officials, and on Sunday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned China that it would be a “serious mistake” to change the status quo in Taiwan “by force.”
The Chinese flights help the Pentagon push its agenda of seeking additional funding to confront China in the region. US Indo-Pacific Command currently has its hand out for an extra $27 billion over the next five years, and its leaders are hyping the threat of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan to justify the enormous amount of additional funding.
President Biden has requested $753 billion for military spending for the 2022 fiscal year, which would be the highest US military budget of all time. In a release on the requested $715 for the Pentagon, the Defense Department said it was needed to confront China, which it cited as the top “threat” to the US.