Update: PLA warplanes conduct consecutive missions near Taiwan

By Liu Xuanzun Source:Global Times Published: 2020/6/17 12:35:09

PLA J-10 fighter jet’s sorties near Taiwan ‘sign of normalized operation’

A J-10 fighter jet attached to an aviation brigade of the air force under the PLA Southern Theater Command takes off from the runway for a flight training task on May 20, 2020. Photo:China Military


Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) warplanes have approached Taiwan island at least four times in just nine days, with the latest being aircraft including J-10 fighter jets and Y-8 aircraft again entering the island's southwestern "airspace," media reported Wednesday. This shows that this kind of operation by the PLA has become normalized and will put huge pressure on secessionists, analysts said.

PLA warplanes including J-10 fighter jets and Y-8 aircraft were spotted entering Taiwan island's southwestern "airspace" on Wednesday noon, Taiwan media reported on Wednesday, citing the island's defense authorities.

This latest PLA operation came only a day after a PLA J-10 fighter jet was spotted briefly entering Taiwan island's southwestern "airspace" on Tuesday morning, Taiwan media reported on Wednesday.

Similar PLA sorties were observed four times in nine days: on Friday a Y-8 aircraft and on June 9 a group of Su-30 fighter jets were seen. They all entered Taiwan's "air defense identification zone," Taiwan media claimed.

The frequent sorties by PLA warplanes in the direction of Taiwan are an indication that the Chinese mainland military has normalized and made such operations routine at a time when Taiwan secessionists are increasingly seeking "independence" and foreign forces such as the US are intervening with aircraft and warplane transits as well as arms sales, a Beijing-based military expert who asked not to be named told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Normalized sorties will let the Taiwan secessionists understand the power gap between the Chinese mainland and the island, as they will find themselves struggling to deal with frequent PLA operations, and the US cannot come to their rescue, the expert said.

The Tuesday operation is also the first time the J-10 aircraft has edged near Taiwan, the reports said.

Previously, PLA warplanes including J-11 fighter jets, KJ-500 early warning aircraft and H-6K bombers have participated in similar operations.

The PLA is conducting real combat-oriented training, and in a real combat, all types of warplanes will participate as an integrated system. The J-10 is the mainland's equivalent to Taiwan's F-16, so it is very natural it will play a part, the expert said.

Each time Taiwan defense authorities report PLA aircraft sorties, they claimed they "expelled" the aircraft via broadcast communications.

"Can a dog make a train leave by barking? Trains only drive away on their own," Chinese mainland netizens said.

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