China: Expert discusses fourth Taiwan air defence zone intrusion
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Chinese warplanes violated Taiwan’s air defence identification zone (ADIZ) for the fourth time this month alone. The incursion set off alarms, with the Taiwanese military responding by launching aircraft and activating its air defence missile system. Taiwan also broadcast radio warnings to the Chinese aircraft, amid growing fears of an imminent invasion from Beijing.
Following the encounter, Taiwan called the incursion from the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) air force “unnecessary” and “thoughtless”.
According to the Taiwan ministry of national defense (MND), a PLA Shaanxi Y-8 electronic warfare plane flew into the southwest corner of Taiwan’s ADIZ on Thursday.
In recent months, Beijing has regularly sent planes into Taiwan’s ADIZ, amid growing tensions with the self-ruled island.
Beijing claims full sovereignty over Taiwan, even though the two sides have been governed separately for more than 70 years.
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China has warned that the island is an “inalienable part” of the country and seeking independence would result in full-scale war.
The Chinese Communist Party has vowed to take Taiwan back by force if necessary.
As recent as June, Chinese leader Xi Jinping pledged to complete reunification with self-ruled Taiwan.
However, the administration in Taipei has maintained that it remains an independent nation.
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Tensions again flared earlier in the week when Japan confirmed it would defend Taiwan alongside the US if China launched an invasion.
Japanese deputy prime minister Taro Aso warned that if Taiwan fell to the Chinese, the Japanese city of Okinawa “could be next”.
He said: “If a major problem took place in Taiwan, it would not be too much to say that it could relate to a survival-threatening situation for Japan.”
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Taiwan has sought increasingly closer ties with the US, including large-scale arms deals.
A senior US official has warned that any Chinese invasion of Taiwan would be “catastrophic”.
Kurt Campbell, the coordinator for Indo-Pacific affairs on the US national security council, said the US had tried to send a “clear message of deterrence across the Taiwan Strait” .
Elsewhere, more than four in ten Australians are concerned about an imminent Chinese invasion of their own country.
The Australia Institute think tank said the polling suggested the level of fear among Australians was the same as the fear among the Taiwanese.
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