A day after a US aircraft carrier strike group entered the South China Sea, China’s People’s Liberation Army flew 28 warplanes through Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ).
The flights marked the largest number of Chinese planes flying through the ADIZ since Taiwan’s Defense Ministry began disclosing the flights last September. China typically sends a significant number of planes through Taiwan’s ADIZ during US military drills in the region or after the US takes steps to boost ties with Taiwan.
The Chinese flights are hyped by Western media, but the ADIZ is not Taiwanese air space, and the Chinese planes usually pass through the southwest corner of the ADIZ. An ADIZ is an area where a country requires foreign aircraft to identify itself. The ADIZ concept is not covered under any international treaties and has no international regulations.
The flights also came after days of the US and its allies declaring China a global security threat in the form of statements from NATO, G7, and the EU. The G7 released a statement on Sunday that called for “peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” which China denounced as interference in its internal affairs.
The US has been taking steps to boost diplomatic ties with Taiwan, angering Beijing, and making a conflict over the island more likely. Earlier this month, a group of US senators traveled to Taiwan aboard a military plane, which Beijing viewed as a flagrant provocation. US visits to Taiwan are typically done in discreet passenger planes.
President Biden’s nominee to be the top US diplomat in East Asia told the Senate on Tuesday that Washington should strengthen ties with Taiwan in “every sector.” The US and Taiwan are preparing to resume talks over a potential trade deal, something China has warned against.