Taiwan Showcases New Military Aircraft to Thwart Chinese Aggression

Taiwan Showcases New Military Aircraft to Thwart Chinese Aggression
Taiwanese domestically-built Indigenous Defense Fighters (IDF) take part in the live-fire, anti-landing Han Kuang military exercise, which simulates an enemy invasion, in Taichung, Taiwan, on July 16, 2020. (Ann Wang/Reuters)
Frank Yue

Chinese warplanes frequently intruded into Taiwan’s southwest air defense identification zone (ADIZ) in January. In response to such provocation, Taiwan invited the media to a military drill that showcased the latest aircraft technology, demonstrating its ability to defend the democratic self-ruled island from Chinese aggression.

Beijing views Taiwan as part of its territory and has continually threatened military force to bring the island under its fold.

Since Jan. 2, the Chinese regime has flown a variety of aircraft into Taiwan’s southwest ADIZ, according to the real-time releases on the official website of China’s Ministry of National Defense. The incursions used Y-8 reconnaissance, maritime patrol, electronic-warfare aircraft, Y-9 communication countermeasure aircraft, KJ-500 airborne early warning and control aircraft, H-6K bombers, J-10, J-16, and Su-30 fighters.

An ADIZ is a publicly-declared area next to a state’s national airspace, in which approaching foreign aircraft must be ready to submit their identifiers and location. The area allows a nation-state the time to judge the nature of the incoming aircraft and take defensive measures if needed.

The Chinese regime made its largest-scale military incursion into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) just days into U.S. President Joe Biden’s new administration—13 military aircraft flew over Taiwan’s southwest waters on Jan. 23, and another 15 military aircraft made a similar incursion the next day.
According to Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense, such incursions have since been seen on a daily basis, most recently when six Chinese military jets entered the island’s ADIZ on Jan. 28.

On Jan. 26, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense invited news agencies to view an exercise of loading Wan Chien missiles into Indigenous Defense Fighters (IDF) by the 1st Tactical Fighter Wing at Tainan Air Base.

The event was the public debut of the Wan Chien missile, an air-to-ground cruise missile developed and produced by Taiwan’s National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology.

As a strategic weapon, the Wan Chien has a cluster bomb that has the longest range of any aircraft in Taiwan’s air force. It can be launched near the median line of the Taiwan Strait to hit airports, landing vessels, and troop assembly areas in the Chinese provinces of Fujian and Guangdong. The missile is considered an essential tool for thwarting Chinese aggression.

Col. Lee Ching-shi said during the drill that the Wan Chien is a missile for fire suppression that targets large areas, and can be used to conduct ground and maritime strikes. However, he declined to reveal details on whether IDFs carry Wan Chien missiles, specific procedures, or timing of their loading, citing military security concerns.

On Jan. 25, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen visited the northern troops of Army Airborne Special Forces, the Songshan radar station at Mt. Yangmingshan, and the Anbu Weather Station.

She was informed that the radar station had detected nearly 2,000 Chinese warplanes and over 400 Chinese warships, thus provoking Taiwan air and sea forces to swiftly follow, monitor, and drive away the intruders in order to protect Taiwan’s territories and airspace.

Tsai thanked the employees for their dedication to safeguarding the Republic of China (Taiwan’s official name).

As the Chinese regime intensifies the number of incursions on Taiwan, tension between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait has grown.

On Jan. 23, the new Biden administration released an official statement addressing Beijing’s hostilities. It expressed its “concern” and urged Beijing to “cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure on Taiwan and instead engage in meaningful dialogue with Taiwan’s democratically elected representatives.”

China news commentator Tang Qing believes that the true intention of the Chinese Communist Party is to test the Biden administration to see if it would take a strong approach toward the Chinese military’s incursions.

Frank Fang contributed to this report.