Taiwan Warns Chinese Aircraft in its Air Defense Zone

Taiwan’s air force warned away nine Chinese aircrafts that entered its defense identification zone on Thursday. It came on the same day that Russia invaded Ukraine, a crisis that Taiwan is watching extremely closely. 

China claims Taiwan as its territory. Taiwan has repeatedly voiced concerns of similar aircraft missions being conducted by the Chinese air force over the past two years. The largest one happened in January, and included 39 Chinese aircrafts. 

The Ukraine situation is worrying for Taiwan, because Taiwan fears that China may try to take advantage of the situation to make its move on the island.

Earlier this week, the Taiwan government called for the island to increase its vigilance on military activities in response to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis. 

China’s foreign minister said this week Taiwan is “not Ukraine.” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying dismissed the link between the international issues. She continued, however, that   it is an “indisputable legal and historical fact” that Taiwan has always been an inalienable part of China.

Taiwan venomously opposes China’s territorial claims. Taiwan says it is an independent state, and fears are at a high that China will take Taiwan as it appears that Russia is taking Ukraine. 

While no “unusual” movements by Chinese military have been reported this week, the government has raised its alerts. 

China condemns the United States for its arm sales to Taiwan, and also condemns other forms of support. 

Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Tan Kefei said that Taiwan was one of China’s “core issues” and that it would tolerate no foreign interference. It is similar language to that used by Putin to warn off international meddling. Kefei said that China urges the U.S. to recognize the sensitivity and to stop interfering, and to stop “playing with fire” on the issue of Taiwan. 

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