CHINA / MILITARY
PLA sends 19 aircraft near Taiwan island in routine drill
Published: Sep 06, 2021 01:11 AM
Fighter jets attached to an aviation brigade of the air force under the PLA Eastern Theater Command taxi in formation to the servicing depot for inspections prior to a flight training exercise on July 31, 2021.Photo:China Military

Fighter jets attached to an aviation brigade of the air force under the PLA Eastern Theater Command taxi in formation to the servicing depot for inspections prior to a flight training exercise on July 31, 2021. Photo:China Military


The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) reportedly sent 19 aircraft, most of them fighter jets and bombers, near the island of Taiwan on Sunday in a move Chinese mainland analysts said was a part of a routine drill, which displayed the unshakable power gap between the PLA and the armed forces on the island despite Taiwan's recent military spending proposal targeting the PLA.

A total of 19 PLA aircraft, namely a Y-8 anti-submarine warfare aircraft, four H-6 bombers, 10 J-16 fighter jets and four Su-30 fighter jets, entered Taiwan's self-proclaimed southwest air defense identification zone on Sunday, the island's defense authorities said in a press release.

The group of 19 aircrafts participating in the drill should be considered large, some media on the island said. However, others recalled that the largest airplane formation ever was reported on June 15 with 28 aircrafts.

According to releases by the island's defense authorities, as of Sunday, the PLA has sent warplanes near the island every day in September with the only exception on Thursday last week.

The PLA's exercises near the island of Taiwan have become routine since a year ago. The number of aircrafts varies according to the training needs of the PLA, a Chinese mainland military expert told the Global Times on Sunday.

Secessionists on the island should now have a clear understanding that the PLA has an overwhelming advantage over the armed forces on the island. The PLA is fully capable of and prepared for safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity, even if foreign forces interfere, the expert said.

It is rumored that a US E-8C aircraft entered the island's "airspace" on Sunday, but the local defense authorities have yet to confirm this, the Taipei-based Liberty Times Net reported

In late August, the island's defense authorities proposed a special budget for missile manufacturing capabilities with the aim of "coping with threats from the Chinese mainland," Taiwan media reported at the time.

This is just another futile attempt by Taiwan secessionists to resist reunification by force, and no matter what kind of weapons and equipment the island develops, they will not be enough to change the status quo of the cross-Straits power balance, Song Zhongping, a Chinese mainland military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times.

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