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10 Chinese Warplanes Enter Taiwan’s Airspace, Prompting Deployment of Fighter Jets and Ships

Taiwan deployed fighter jets and ships after 10 Chinese warplanes flew into its airspace on Monday, June 14, 2021. In light of this development, Taiwan is on high alert as such incursions threaten their sovereignty. This is not the first time China has conducted such an incursion into Taiwan’s airspace, though it is one of the largest that has been witnessed so far.

Taiwan detected a total of eight nuclear-capable H-6K bombers and four J-16 fighter jets on Monday in their self-governed area. This incursion further indicates the challenging times that the Taiwan Strait is now facing, as China increasingly asserts its claim over the region. The Chinese assertiveness is fuelled by its aggressive military modernisation programme, which encompasses building its fleet, developing hypersonic weapons, and improving its cyber capabilities.

China’s aggressive tactics have always been a concern, leading to widespread distrust with the rest of the world. With an increased military presence in the South China Sea, it is evident that it lays claim to the entire region and will not be content with just Taiwan. The Communist Party leadership is unlikely to relinquish its claim over Taiwan, which it considers an inseparable part of its territory. Still, the prospect of an armed conflict remains low, primarily because the economic interdependence between China and Taiwan has increased in recent years.

Taiwan’s strategy has always been to maintain a low profile. Despite the constant incursions into their airspace, they chose to rely on diplomacy and deterrence, including military modernisation to ensure they can defend themselves from external incursions. They have also forged alliances with like-minded countries that support their democratic values, with the US playing a significant role in providing security support to Taiwan.

In August 2020, a US cabinet-level official visited Taiwan for the first time since 1979, a landmark move that sent a clear message to China that the US stands with Taiwan. The US continues to express its concern over China’s aggressive behaviour, and other countries are also considering how best to respond to this increasing assertiveness. As the US continues to increase their support, they are likely to provoke China to double down on their tactics, creating more instability in the Taiwan Strait.

In conclusion, China’s provocative military moves, including the incursion into Taiwan’s airspace, are a cause for concern and have prompted Taiwan to deploy fighter jets and ships. While the risk of an all-out conflict remains low, the instability in the region remains a significant risk to global security. The US has vowed to support Taiwan, but it is up to the whole international community to hold China to account and prevent any escalation of the situation. Economic and political pressure on China to abide by international norms and respect the sovereignty of neighbouring countries is crucial to bringing stability to the region.

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