Recently, Beijing has sent numerous military aircraft—bombers, fighter jets, reconnaissance planes, and anti-submarine aircraft—to fly over Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ).
People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft regularly violate Taiwan’s ADIZ, but the number is unprecedented this time. And the combination of using these types of aircraft is similar to that in combat operations.
It appears the real reason China sent its air force to Taiwan is to take advantage of the Taliban’s victory in Afghanistan to advance on Taiwan, bring down the United States, and expand the influence of the CCP.
The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan gave the CCP a golden opportunity to attack the United States and its allies and expand its influence. So China’s Xi seized every opportunity to gain an advantage.
Chinese state media propaganda portrays Washington as an unreliable ally while extolling China’s promising friendship with the Taliban, mocking the U.S. “failure,” in Afghanistan, and threatening Taiwan by questioning the U.S. commitment to the Asia region.
The Global Times, the CCP’s mouthpiece, said that “the United States’ commitment to its allies is unreliable.”
According to the CCP’s Eastern Theater Command statement, the CCP conducted military exercises in the waters southwest and southeast of Taiwan on Aug. 17.
After the Taliban victory in Afghanistan, public opinion pointed the knife towards bringing down the United States. So China is like a “profitable fisherman,” taking advantage of a good “momentum,” by immediately turning to Taiwan, the land that the CCP has always coveted. However, Taiwan is under the protection of the United States and its allies. But the CCP thinks that the United States is losing, so it’s taking advantage.
Beijing following the Taliban example to invade Taiwan
On Aug. 21, Taiwan’s foreign minister accused Beijing of wanting to follow in the footsteps of the Taliban to invade the democratic island, adding that Taipei would not accept CCP rule.
The rapid fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban before the scheduled withdrawal of U.S. troops has sparked debate over whether Taiwan would suffer the same fate in the event of a Chinese invasion.
The Global Times stated that “Once war breaks out in the Taiwan Strait, the defenses of the island of Taiwan will collapse within hours.”
Taiwan will face the same fate as Afghanistan, and “U.S. troops will not come to help,” using the slogan “Afghanistan today, Taiwan tomorrow.”
The victory of the Taliban gives the CCP a great advantage. It is not known how long it will be before such an opportunity arises again for the CCP. Many Chinese people, influenced by the CCP’s propaganda poisoning, also agree to support the CCP’s push to “unify” Taiwan.
CCP threats with action
In total, from Oct. 1 to 4, the Chinese Air Force dispatched nearly 150 aircraft to infiltrate Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ)—China’s latest provocation in a string of military escalations near Taiwan in the past few years.
Specifically, in the first four days of October, China sent 38, 39, 16, and 52 military aircraft, respectively, to infiltrate Taiwan’s southwestern ADIZ. As a result, Oct. 1, 2, and 4 consecutively set a record for the most aircraft sorties since the Taiwan Defense Agency published statistics.
According to Taiwan’s National Defense Agency, 52 Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) military aircraft entered Taiwan’s southwestern airspace on Monday, including 34 J-16 fighter jets, two Su-30 fighters, 2 Y-8 anti-submarine aircraft, 2 KJ-500 early warning aircraft, and 12 H-6 bombers.
Recently, many sources pointed out that the CCP has deployed the Dongfeng-17 hypersonic missile along the southeast coast, replacing the Dongfeng-11 and Dongfeng-15, escalating fears of an attack on Taiwan.
Taiwanese experts recognize this issue as a move to target U.S. military bases of Asian allies. However, its primary purpose is an “anti-intervention” warning for countries that want to support Taiwan.
The Hong Kong SCMP said that the newly deployed Dongfeng-17 has a more extended range and greater accuracy and extends the reach of the CCP army, which was only around the Taiwan Strait, to the U.S. military base in Yokosuka—Japan.
Dongfeng-17’s maximum range is over 1550 miles, and it was first demonstrated at a military parade marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the CCP in 2019.
The news comes five days after Xi Jinping visited a marine base in southeastern China. Here, the Chinese leader called on soldiers to “remain vigilant and prepare for war.”
Threats with words
According to NTD, Chinese leader Xi Jinping continued to call for Taiwan’s reunification with the mainland earlier this month. Xi’s wish is to turn the regime into the world’s sole superpower by mid-century.
“Taiwan independence separatism is the biggest obstacle to achieving the unification of the motherland, and the most serious potential danger to national rejuvenation,” Xi said.
The CCP threatened Taiwan, but they also threatened countries that sided with Taiwan in this incident.
At a fund-raising party in Tokyo on Monday, Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso said that Japan and the United States would have to jointly defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese attack on Taiwan. Beijing-based diplomatic spokesman Zhao Lijian on Tuesday said Japan’s comments were “extremely wrong and dangerous.”
“We will never allow any country to interfere in Taiwan in any way, and no one should underestimate China’s determination and ability to defend its strong national sovereignty,” Zhao said.
In early July, President Xi Jinping called the reunification of Taiwan a “historic mission.”
Exploring the reactions of the parties to prepare for a real war
Grant Newsham, a retired U.S. Marine officer and former U.S. diplomat, found that the PLA air force directs its aircraft into the area it intends to hit rather than directly into Taiwan or other nearby areas.
Instead of the island’s legitimate airspace, the Chinese aircraft flew into Taiwan’s ADIZ located between Formosa (Taiwan’s main island) and the Dongsha (Pratas) archipelago.
Analysts also argue that China is terrorizing Taiwan and weakening its defenses, causing people in Taiwan (and Washington) to gradually become less alert to fighting. So if one day Beijing suddenly opened fire, it would come as a surprise for Taiwan.
By being aggressive with Taiwan, Mr. Xi considers Taiwan’s response and the reactions of the United States, Japan, and other free nations—both in action and politics.
One long-time observer noted that “these air incursions give the PLA an opportunity to measure and evaluate the combined defensive performance of Taiwan and the United States … [it was] a show practice real-time emergency response, to assess certain Taiwan-U.S. defensive capabilities.”
So how have Taiwan, the United States, and others reacted?
After the prolonged provocation by Beijing, Taiwan, the U.S. Japan, Australia, France, etc. All gave clear responses.
President Joe Biden said on Oct. 21 that the United States was committed to defending Taiwan if China attacked the self-ruled island—a departure from the longstanding U.S. position when defending Taiwan is seen as—”strategic ambiguity.”
“Yes, we are committed to that, China knows the United States has the strongest military in the world,” Biden said on a CNN Q&A in Baltimore.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken criticized Beijing’s military provocations, saying in an interview with Bloomberg on Oct. 6 that the actions were “potentially destabilizing.”
“What I hope is that these actions stop because there is always the possibility of miscalculation, miscommunication, and that is very dangerous. … We need to see China stop these actions,” Blinken said.
At CNN’s town hall, President Biden said that while he does not want a new Cold War, the United States will “not back down,” and he wants China to understand this.
Reactions of countries in the region
The French parliamentary delegation, despite pressure from Beijing, still visited Taiwan.
At the invitation of the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan), a delegation led by the President of the Taiwan Friendship Group of the French Senate, Mr. Alain Richard, visited Taiwan from Oct. 6 to 10.
President Alain Richard has long been steadfastly pro-Taiwan.
With Alain Richard were 4 M.P.s from all parties and the Executive Secretary of the Taiwan Friendship Group of the French Senate. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs sincerely welcomed the visit of the French Senate delegation.
Ms. Ou Jiang’an expressed her gratitude and admiration for Mr. Alain Richard and the delegation.
Japan: New Prime Minister supports Taiwan
The new Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, on Oct. 5, 2021, in his first press conference as a government leader, said he had received strong support from President Joe Biden, who pledged to defend Japan in the dispute with China over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea.
According to Reuters, Taiwan and relations with Beijing will be the dominant themes in foreign and security policy from the beginning of Kishida’s new term. This concern is evident in Japan’s establishing the Ministry of Economic Security, which outlines procedures to protect technology in supply chains and cyberattacks coming from China.
According to Aboluowang, Mr. Kishida also said that if a war broke out in the Taiwan Strait, Japan would be greatly affected; therefore, Japan should continue to strengthen defense construction to deal with threats from the outside.
Australia sided with Taiwan
Australia, like most countries, has no formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan but has joined its ally, the United States, in expressing concern about Chinese pressure, especially militarily.
On Friday, Oct. 8, former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott visited Taiwan.
According to Focus Taiwan, speaking at a forum in Taipei, Abbott said democracy partners around the globe, as friends of Taiwan, should let Beijing know that any coercive efforts will have “unforeseen consequences.”
According to former Australian Prime Minister Abbott, Washington and Canberra should not sit idly by if China invades Taiwan.
“I don’t think the U.S. can stand by and watch Taiwan being swallowed up,” he said. “I don’t think Australia should be indifferent to the fate of an allied democracy of almost 25 million people.”
According to Taiwan News, In response to Biden’s defense of Taiwan, President Tsai Ing-wen’s spokesman Truong Don Ham said the U.S. had shown support for Taiwan through concrete actions. The island’s 23 million citizens will not yield to pressure or hasty actions by Beijing.
Taiwan has called on Beijing to refrain from provocative actions against the self-governing democratic island.
Taiwanese presidential office spokesman Chang Tun-Han said, “The future of this country is in the hands of the people of Taiwan,” refuting the CCP’s claims about “Taiwan’s presidential office.” He pointed out the “one country, two systems,” has devastated people’s political freedoms in the Chinese-ruled city of Hong Kong.
In general, other countries only stop supporting Taiwan in the press and through “routine” statements. So if Beijing opens fire, it is unlikely that any government will stand up in support.
Beijing will have its calculations for the strategy of occupying Taiwan. Possibly, Chinese planes will move closer and closer to Taiwan, and one day (possibly in the not-too-distant future) will fly over Taiwan—and challenge Taiwan to shoot it down—and for America to do something about this.
That would pose a significant problem
Newsham said that if the U.S. and other countries react weakly—or even just by expressing their usual “serious concerns” over and over again—in reality, it will ensure that in the end, PLA fighters will fly directly into Taiwan, with all the dangers that come with it. So is the world just watching?
The CCP’s latest action toward Taiwan may be a form of intimidation, but even so, it is dangerous. The CCP does not follow the usual moral standard—it is malicious and does not spare human life. So in the face of this threat, the world should take a particular precaution against the CCP.