China flew an unprecedented 52 warplanes near Taiwanese airspace on Monday, Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense reported;
Beijing appears to believe now is the time to test America’s resolve in support of the island nation as it boasts of its military might.
- China’s English language Global Times, considered a mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, confirmed the deployment and that the Chinese military set new records for the scale of the aerial provocations on both Friday and Saturday over the Taiwan Straits.
- It said the deployments helped mark the country’s National Day on Oct. 1, the annual celebration of the party’s founding, but indicated they are also in response to a U.S.-led armada of allied ships that sailed through the contested Philippine Sea late last week.
- The deployments come at a time of rising tensions in the region, with growing Western concern that Beijing believes now may be the time to attempt to annex the island nation – and increased brazenness from China.
- “The PLA has done an excellent job!” the Chinese outlet proclaimed, referring to the People’s Liberation Army, the name for China’s military. “It is a clear and unmistakable declaration of China’s sovereignty over the island.”
- “They are fighting forces aimed at actual combat,” it continued. “The increase in the number of aircraft showed the PLA Air Force’s operational capabilities.
- The warplanes that gathered over the Straits were possibly dispatched from different airports, showing the strong ability of the PLA to form a wartime air attack.”