US, DPP warned as military aircraft lands in Taipei
Published: Jul 15, 2021 03:04 PM
Wu Qian File photo; CFP

Wu Qian File photo; CFP

The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) can expel, fire warning shots or even shoot down foreign military aircraft that trespass upon China's airspace, Chinese military observers warned Thursday, after a second US air force plane landed on the island of Taiwan in less than two months, which also triggered stern responses from the Chinese Defense Ministry and the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council. 

China is gravely concerned about a US air force plane landing on the island of Taiwan on Thursday, and any trespass of foreign ships or planes into China's airspace or territorial waters will result in serious consequences, the Chinese Ministry of National Defense said on Thursday, and it warned the US to stop playing with fire.

Taiwan is an inalienable part of China, and any foreign military aircraft landing on Chinese territory must obtain the permission of the Chinese government, ministry spokesperson Wu Qian said.

We warned the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities not to misjudge the situation, provoke secessionism by allying with external forces, which will only lead Taiwan into a dangerous situation, Wu said, noting the PLA will stay on high alert, take any necessary measure to crush Taiwan secessionists' conspiracies. 

The Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council also made a stern warning to the DPP authorities in a statement on Thursday. The DPP authority, colluding with external forces and seeking secessionism but rejecting national reunification, was leading residents in the island to disaster, which is doomed to fail, read the office's statement. 

A US C-146A Wolfhound landed at Taipei Songshan Airport on Thursday morning and took off after 34 minutes, local media reported.  

It's not the first time that US air force planes landed in Taiwan in 2021. On June 6, three US senators arrived on the island of Taiwan by taking a military transport plane, a US Air Force C-17 Globemaster III, instead of a civilian plane that normally performs such tasks. 

Analysts said that the US keeps on using such salami-slicing tactics to make further provocations and attempts to make military aircraft landings on the island a routine move. 

The C-146A is an executive plane that usually does not have combat capability, a Beijing-based military expert who request anonymity told the Global Times on Thursday. 

He said that the US sent military aircraft to Taiwan to get familiar with Taiwan's airport in order to accumulate experience on possible future military interference, making military aircraft landings regular.

The expert believes that the PLA has monitored the whole process of US planes' flights and landings, as the advanced radar system of the PLA's early warning plane could conduct precise identification and risk assessment.

Fu Qianshao, a Chinese military aviation expert, told the Global Times on Thursday that Taiwan is Chinese territory and its airspace is Chinese airspace. Therefore, "we will take corresponding measures."

"Depending on the level of the threat, we could take different measures, including expulsion and fire warnings… We have the right to shoot down any foreign military aircraft with combat capability that trespasses upon China's airspace to carry out military missions," Fu said, noting that this conforms with international law and China's security-related laws. 

On June 23, one Russian vessel fired warning shots at a British destroyer near Crimea in the Black Sea, the New York Times reported. 

On Thursday, Taiwan's military authority said it had made no contact with the US plane, and it was only after the military airplane's landing that the Taiwan authority became aware of it. 

The DPP authority was aware of the Chinese mainland's strong will and did not want to escalate the situation, but on the other hand, it showed that the DPP has gradually lost control of the overall situation as the US military acted recklessly without informing the DPP beforehand, analysts said. 

The Chinese mainland has the ability to prevent US military intervention if a serious cross-Straits crisis happens. The mainland already has the dominant power to decide the ways and the pace to resolve the Taiwan question, analysts said. 

If the DPP authority violates the Anti-Secession Law, the PLA would resolve the Taiwan question at all costs and fundamentally prevent the US military from getting involved, Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and commentator, told the Global Times on Thursday.