China exercises around Taiwan after US passes defense law

China held its biggest military drills near Taiwan over the weekend since the Taiwan Strait crisis in August, days after the United States passed an annual defense spending bill for China. authorized security assistance of up to 10 billion dollars for the country for the first time.

In the 24 hours to Monday morning, 47 People’s Liberation Army aircraft entered the country’s air defense identification zone, with at least 41 flying over the Taiwan Strait median line, TaiwanMinistry of Defense said.

This marks China’s third-largest number of single-day violations of Taiwan’s ADIZ, its self-declared buffer zone, and the most since August 5. week-long exercise which Beijing orchestrated in retaliation for US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei.

China has steadily increased the scope and scale of air and naval operations near Taiwan in recent years, including a higher level of activity since the August confrontation. But Sunday’s drills are the first to be officially announced by the PLA since August.

The military held “joint combat readiness patrols and joint fire attack drills,” the PLA’s Eastern Theater Command said in a statement. “This is a resolute response to the current escalation by the United States and Taiwan of their collusion and provocation,” it added.

The exercises come after Beijing dramatically increased its military posture as the US Congress considered and subsequently approved unprecedented military support for Taiwan within its framework. annual defense spending bill, which US president Joe Biden signed into law on Friday. The National Defense Authorization Act includes provisions in security assistance of up to $10 billion over five years and fast-tracks arms sales to Taiwan.

China on Saturday said it was “very dissatisfied and firmly opposed” to the law, which it said harmed peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. The incident ignored the facts to exaggerate the ‘threat from China’, indiscriminately interfered in China’s internal affairs, and attacked and smeared the Chinese Communist Party, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. These are serious political provocations.”

Based on Taiwan data42 of the 47 PLA aircraft that flew into the ADIZ were fighters, with early warning and reconnaissance aircraft, including a drone, making up the rest. More than two dozen fighter jets crossed the median line, including at its center, where the strait is narrowest — a high-risk move that the PLA rarely uses, often when Beijing is in the middle of nowhere. sought to respond to moves such as a visit to Taipei by senior US officials.

Following the arrival of the NDAA, the PLA ramped up relatively unusual activities, including an aerial refueling exercise with fighters and bombers around southern Taiwan last Thursday. , an ADIZ infiltration by 18 bombers on December 13 and fighters over the center of the median line on December 8.

Senior Taiwanese officials said the PLA used these activities to practice elements of a Potential Taiwan Strait Warconsisted of a simulated attack on a warship and prepared for invasion with amphibious ships stationed at the northern and southern ends of the strait.

According to Taiwan’s Defense Ministry data, China’s largest single-day intrusion into Taiwan’s ADIZ was 59 aircraft last October. The ministry said there were a total of 71 PLA aircraft operating in the area around Taiwan in the past 24 hours, but the significance of that number remains unclear as Taipei has only selectively disclosed the flight paths of the aircraft. Chinese military aircraft.

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