Sharpening its rhetoric, Chinese state media says PLA sent more warplanes over Taiwan than Taipei acknowledged

As the tensions between China and Taiwan continue to escalate, Taiwan witnessed approximately 950 intrusions by the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) military planes into its Air Defence Identification Zone in 2021 so far, local media reported citing data from the Ministry of National Defense. 

There’s a reported 60 per cent increase from the previous year as intrusions in 2021 is double the combined sum of that in 2019 and 2020. 

Taiwan News report stated that the island is anticipating a further rise in the number of intrusions as China has ramped up sorties over the past few years. 

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The reports further mentioned that the number of flights might increase in 2022 as tensions rise over major political events between the two sides. 

Meanwhile, China’s Defense Ministry has reacted in a rather belligerent tone as it said that the number of aircraft sorties is “higher, not lower than the figure” Taiwan revealed. 

Global Times citing experts reported that it reflects the poor detection capability of Taiwan’s armed forces, it can be proved to be disastrous if conflict breaks out. 

“The PLA dispatched more warplanes to routine drills near Taiwan than the DPP authorities revealed, Chinese Defense Ministry said in response to DPP’s recent claims,” Global Times report mentioned. 

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A Chinese military aviation expert Fu Qianshao told the Global Times on Thursday (December 30) that the reason why Taiwan defence authorities reported fewer PLA warplanes. He said a lack of technical capabilities to detect them could be responsible. 

As per the report, Senior Colonel Tan Kefei, during a press conference on Thursday, said the reason behind ongoing tensions is Taiwan’s intentions to seek “independence”. Tan Kefei is a spokesperson from China’s Ministry of National Defense. 

Beijing claims full sovereignty over Taiwan, a democracy of almost 24 million people, even though the two sides have been governed separately for more than seven decades. 

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