Things may be heating up in Taiwan as the Ministry of Defense is expressing concerns about over a dozen Chinese military aircraft and naval vessels that approached near Taiwan early on Saturday morning, according to a report from Fox News.
That prompted the island defense to put fighter jets in the air and activate its missile defense system.
“11 PLA aircraft and 3 PLAN vessels around Taiwan were detected by 6 a.m. today,” its government said, prompting officials to send naval vessels of their own and ready land-based missile systems “to respond to these activities.”
The PLA also had forces near Taiwan on Wednesday and Thursday.
11 PLA aircraft and 3 PLAN vessels around Taiwan were detected in our surrounding region by 6 a.m.(UTC+8) today. R.O.C. Armed Forces have monitored the situation and tasked CAP aircraft, Navy vessels, and land-based missile systems to respond these activities. pic.twitter.com/vGKq1fyjwA
— 國防部 Ministry of National Defense, R.O.C. 🇹🇼 (@MoNDefense) December 24, 2022
“[Nine] PLA aircraft and 3 PLAN vessels around Taiwan were detected by 6 a.m.(UTC+8) today. R.O.C. Armed Forces have monitored the situation and tasked CAP aircraft, Navy vessels, and land-based missile systems to respond to these activities,” its government said.
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry added: “2 of the detected aircraft (BZK-005 UAV RECCE and Y-8 ASW) had entered Taiwan’s southwest ADIZ, flight paths as illustrated.”
The sighting on Wednesday was the largest, with Taiwan reporting seeing 39 Chinese aircraft and three naval vessels around the island. The instance also prompted an immediate response from Taiwan’s military.
Of the detected aircraft, 30 crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait and entered Taiwan’s southwest and southeast Air Defense Identification Zone.
This looks a lot like they’re feeling out the defenses of the island, which raises the question of whether they’re readying for an invasion there.
If they invade the island, that would raise the troubling question of how the U.S. would respond.
While the official policy of the U.S. is to be ambiguous on what we would do, Biden has said that he would respond and have troops defend Taiwan, although he has also said he doesn’t think that China is about to invade Taiwan imminently. Given that so much of our resources have been poured out into Ukraine, China may think that now is the time to act against Taiwan–and that we could ill afford to provide Taiwan with any assistance.
China has been much more aggressive in its posture ever since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) visited the island in August. As we reported, the White House showed a weak response to threats against Pelosi at that time. The Chinese threatened to shoot her out of the sky, and the White House didn’t even condemn that kind of talk. National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby even said that they don’t support Taiwan’s independence. Talk about weakness, when you show that kind of face to the Chinese. They may think that they can threaten the island given that limp response, and that we won’t respond. Not exactly the best thing to show them. They only understand strength, and unfortunately, that’s not Joe Biden.