The Taiwanese military reportedly activated its air defense system. It was a precautionary measure as the military alleged that 37 Chinese aircraft had invaded Taiwanese airspace. Threatening by showing air power is the latest tactic in Beijing’s sleeve. Aerial attacks have increased since last year. Since 2021, Beijing has established its political and military authority over Taiwan. Taiwan claims to be a sovereign nation that has no allegiance to China. The international community remains divided over Taiwan’s sovereignty claims.
After the communist revolution in China, the government fled to the island of Taiwan. The island has been independently governed since 1949. But the mainland Chinese government maintained the claim that Taiwan is part of China. After Xi Jinping’s presidency, the actions to unify China and Taiwan have taken an aggressive turn. Taiwan officially identifies as the Republic of China and is separated from the mainland through the Taiwan Straits. After Taiwan elected its President, Tsai Ing-wen, in 2016, tensions between Taiwan and China escalated. Tsai Ing-wen refused to follow in his predecessor’s footsteps to provide concessions to China.
China maintains the ‘One China policy.’ It elucidates that the People's Republic of China is the legitimate government representing China internationally. Under this policy, the PRC seeks to unify Taiwan with China eventually. From an internal political perspective, China and Taiwan are fundamentally different. Taiwan has a functioning democracy, unlike China. In a 2019 speech, President Xi mentioned that Taiwan will eventually be incorporated into China and follow the system of ‘One China, two systems.’ China follows a similar policy to Hong Kong, which has established democratic procedures.
From Wednesday, June 7th, 5:00 AM [2100 GMT], the Taiwanese military detected J-11 and J-16 fighter jets entering their airspace through the Taiwanese Straits. Another type of aircraft, H-6 bombers, capable of carrying nuclear warheads, were also spotted. Taiwan monitors a broader area of airspace, also known as ADIZ, to prepare in advance for possible aerial invasions. In retaliation to the Chinese aircraft, Taiwan activated its land-based missile systems, and the military kept ships and planes on standby. Apart from aerial incursions, China flexes its muscle in the Western Pacific Ocean by participating in joint military exercises with Russia in Japan and the East China Sea.
From China’s perspective, they are defending their territorial integrity. Since Taiwan’s inception as a country, China has claimed that it is not different from the PRC. China has increased the frequency of fighter planes and surveillance aircraft over Taiwan. Apart from hard military power, Taiwan alleges that its government infrastructure has faced several cyberattacks from China. These hacks targeted government individuals attempting to access personal and sensitive government information. The USA’s involvement in Taiwan and the official visit of Nancy Pelosi, the US House Speaker, further fueled the fire. The USA declared an official position, and that caused a rift between Taiwan and China. Both nations have reached a deadlock with no peaceful resolution in sight.
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