A massive number of Chinese air force aircraft breached Taiwanese airspace on Tuesday, marking significant escalation in the worsening ties between Taipei and Beijing.
As many as 28 Chinese aircraft, including fighters and nuclear-capable bombers, flew into Taiwanese air defense identification zone (ADIZ), Taipei said.
The Chinese mission, the largest incursion to date, involved 14 J-16, six J-11 fighters, four H-6 bombers , Taiwan's Defence Ministry said, according to Reuters. The bombers that flew into Taiwan's air space were capable of carrying nuclear weapons.
Bombers Flying Around Southern Taiwan
The Chinese aircraft came close to the Pratas Islands with some bombers even flying around the southern part of Taiwan.
China did not make a comment, nor did Beijing respond to requests for comment, the news agency reported.
Taiwanese authorities said its air forces scrambled combat aircraft to intercept the Chinese aircraft. Taiwan also put missile systems on alert.
G-7 Comments in Focus
Significantly, the military muscle-flexing by China happened hours after the G-7 leaders passed a resolution calling for curbing the rising Chinese threat to the world order. The G-& leaders led by the United States President Joe Biden especially called for peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.
Reports last week said the Chinese military has stepped up menacing propaganda against self-ruled Taiwan even as the tensions remain escalated. The latest reports say that the PLA has openly threatened war against Taiwan, which China says is an integral part of the country.
Goal to Unify Taiwan
Fears over a military move to 'reunify' Taiwan with the mainland have grown in recent years. In fact, such fears had never gone away. Geopolitical analysts have been watching out for signs of a final Chinese resolve to strike for years.
China considers self-ruling Taiwan as a renegade province and hasn't abandoned the possibility of using force to annex the island. The power balance tilted in Beijing's favour back in the early 1970s when the United States recognized the People's Republic of China and started diplomatic relations with Beijing.
According to Beijing, island's reunification with the mainland is a primary need. China insists that it is the only large nation in the world that is yet to be completely reunified. "Resolving the Taiwan question so as to realise China's full reunification is the irresistible trend of the times, China's greatest national interest, the righteous path to follow and the longing of all Chinese people," Wei said.