Taiwan Military Warns Away 13 Chinese Aircraft From Its Air Defense Zone

By Andrew Thornebrooke
Andrew Thornebrooke
Andrew Thornebrooke
Reporter
Andrew Thornebrooke is a reporter for The Epoch Times covering China-related issues with a focus on defense, military affairs, and national security. He holds a master's in military history from Norwich University.
March 14, 2022 Updated: March 14, 2022

Taiwan scrambled assets from its air force on March 14 to warn away 13 Chinese military aircraft that flew into its air defense identification zone (ADIZ).

The incursion is the latest in a two-year campaign of harassment and intimidation by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as it seeks to coerce Taiwanese leadership away from ties with the West and to give up its democratic government.

The last large-scale incursion in 2022 took place in late January, when 39 Chinese aircraft crossed into Taiwan’s ADIZ.

The ADIZ isn’t airspace directly over Taiwan, but the immediate surrounding area in which aircraft identification and location information are controlled for the sake of national security.

Scrambling aircraft and other military assets to respond to repeated CCP incursions comes at a significant cost to Taiwan. In 2020, the associated monetary costs of such responses accounted for nearly 9 percent of Taiwan’s entire annual military budget.

The CCP maintains that Taiwan is a part of its territory. However, the island has been self-governed since 1949 and has never been under CCP control. Taiwan has its own military, constitution, and democratically elected government.

CCP leader Xi Jinping vowed that Taiwan would be united with the mainland, and hasn’t renounced the use of force to accomplish that goal.

Meanwhile, leaders of the U.S. intelligence community recently said that china is the No. 1 threat to the United States and would attempt to seize Taiwan in the coming years.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense said the latest incursion, which included 12 fighter jets and one electronic warfare aircraft, took place north of the main island. Taiwanese fighters warned the Chinese aircraft away from the area, and Taiwan’s military also deployed air defense missiles in response.

The incursion happened on the same day that a Taiwanese fighter jet crashed into the sea during a training mission and two weeks after a Chinese aircraft reportedly crashed into the sea near Vietnam.

Taiwan’s military is currently under a heightened state of alert because of fears that the Chinese military could seize upon the global uncertainty surrounding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and use the situation to launch an assault on the island.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen announced an “all-out-defense” strategy on March 12. In 2021, she vowed to defend Taiwan’s democratic government from authoritarian aggression.

“We will continue to bolster our national defense and demonstrate our determination to defend ourselves in order to ensure that nobody can force Taiwan to take the path China has laid out for us,” she said in October 2021. “The path that China has laid out offers neither a free and democratic way of life for Taiwan, nor sovereignty for our 23 million people.”

Andrew Thornebrooke
Andrew Thornebrooke is a reporter for The Epoch Times covering China-related issues with a focus on defense, military affairs, and national security. He holds a master's in military history from Norwich University.