Chinese Planes Circle Taiwan During Military Drill|共軍台海軍演後 又證實軍機繞台演訓

Taiwan is reaffirming ties with Swaziland, or eSwatini, but tensions with China are steadily growing. China carried out live-fire military drills in the Taiwan Strait on Apr. 18. One day later, its military aircraft circled Taiwan for the second consecutive day. China reiterated that the mission, was to thwart Taiwan independence. The Ministry of National Defense has confirmed the news, while the United States Department of State said it opposes any actions by either side, including using military force to change the status quo.

On Apr. 18, China's People's Liberation Army conducted live-fire military drills near the city of Quanzhou in Fujian Province. On Apr. 19, there were reports that People's Liberation Army Air Force jets, including Xian H-6 strategic bombers, were circling Taiwan during training drills. They flew from the Miyako Strait, and passed through the Bashi Channel, intruding in Taiwan's air defense identification zone, before flying back to their base. Taiwan's military released an audio recording of an exchange from the drill.

China, you have entered our air defense identification zone. Please immediately turn 180 degrees to the right. The Republic of China Air Force is at latitude 210 degree north.

On Apr. 19, the Ministry of National Defense confirmed four Chinese military aircraft had intruded in Taiwan's air defense identification zone. It added it sent aircraft and warships to monitor the intruders and there weren't any abnormalities. According to the ministry, the military has the capability to defend Taiwan. The United States Department of State also commented on the training drill. It said it opposes any action by either side to change the status quo, including the use of military force. It also urged the two sides to engage in constructive dialogue.

China also released a promotional video on Apr. 19, along with versions in English and Taiwanese. The video said China's military aircraft are capable of circling Taiwan and engaging in combat, and let it be known that circling Taiwan has become a normal part of its military training and it will continue to do so in the future.

We sent out Xian H-6K, Sukhoi Su-30, Shenyang J-11, surveillance aircraft and early warning aircraft. There were many aircraft of different types. The Xian H-6K and others carried out the mission of "circling the island."

Meanwhile, the Taiwan Affairs Office told the Chinese media during a press conference that the objective of these missions is to prevent Taiwan independence. Scholars say China was motivated to move by voices clamoring for independence in Taiwan, the possibility of high-ranking U.S. officials attending the inauguration of the American Institute in Taiwan's new complex in June and the recent friendly gestures from the U.S. towards Taiwan, including arms sales. They believe China will continue to use military scare tactics in the near future.

China is using routine long-distance naval training drills to send this political message. For them, the cost is quite low, but for Taiwan's people, from now until June, there will be many developments.
Scholars add China's training exercises and long-distance drills are meant to send a message to both China's people and to the U.S.