PLA warplanes tie noose around neck of ‘Taiwan secessionists’: Global Times editorial
Published: Jan 25, 2022 12:00 AM
File photo: China Military

File photo: China Military

The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) sent warplanes near the island of Taiwan on Sunday and Monday. On Sunday, 39 aircraft flew, the largest daily number this year. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authority appeared very nervous and upset. They should be. It has become normal for PLA warplanes to fly around Taiwan and approach the island for patrols. A sword of Damocles is hung over the head of "Taiwan secessionists," and at the same time, it concretizes and materializes the warning and deterrence of the Chinese mainland.

It should be emphasized that there is no essential difference between the PLA warplanes flying over Taiwan and US military warplanes over Hawaii. Taiwan is a part of China's territory. There has never been the concept of "Taiwan airspace" in the world, but only "China airspace." The DPP authority has no right to designate the so-called air defense identification zone. The "Taiwan secessionists" and the forces supporting them have fabricated the rhetoric of "Taiwan airspace" and "intrusion," which is nothing more than an attempt to hide their desire to undermine peace.

Since 2020, the PLA has stepped up activities of its warplanes flying around Taiwan. This is not only a solemn declaration of China's sovereignty, but also a severe warning to "Taiwan secessionist" forces. Over the past two years, the DPP authority and "Taiwan secessionist" forces have made more moves seeking "independence," and the plot of external forces to "exploit Taiwan to contain Chinese mainland" has become more explicit. The US has been playing the Taiwan card more frequently from the Trump to the Biden administration, playing edge balls and conducting salami slicing tactics on the one-China principle. It has encouraged the arrogance of "Taiwan secessionist" forces, severely provoking the Chinese mainland.

In 2021, US large spy planes carried out about 1,200 aerial close-in reconnaissance sorties on China. US aircraft carriers and warships have many times intruded China's maritime space. One day before Taiwan was panicked by the PLA's 39 warplanes flying toward it, two US carrier groups and the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force conducted a military drill in waters near Taiwan island. Who is the outsider coming here to stir up trouble? Who is creating tensions in the region? The answer is obvious. 

The effect of PLA warplanes flying around Taiwan island is obvious. Imagine, if there is no strong anti-secessionist military deterrence from the PLA, will the DPP authority and "Taiwan secessionist" forces be more arrogant and radical? Will they go further in the secessionist direction? Now they dare not promote "de jure independence" of the Taiwan island, not because they grew a conscience, but because they dare not. They are fully aware that the PLA will definitely take decisive measures, so they do not have the nerve to do whatever they want. The pressure from the PLA has also begun to prompt some people on the island to think more profoundly about the future of the island, and to make a forceful critique on the separatist behavior of the DPP authority.

According to statistics from Taiwan, the PLA warplanes conducted nearly a thousand times patrols around the Taiwan island in 2021. In less than a month this year, the figure has reached 109. The 2022 total will only be more than last year's. The outside world has noticed that among the 39 warplanes which flew around Taiwan last weekend, 34 were fighter jets, including J-16s and J-10s. It means the fighter group could turn to a specific mission once a special scenario occurs. On Monday, the PLA's J-16D, which recently entered into service, showed up for the first time in a mission near Taiwan. The message is self-evident. 

As analysts pointed out, in the future, the mainland will continue to strengthen capacity building and resources accumulation for unification with more practical actions. In addition to the PLA warplanes, warships will also continue regular patrols. PLA warplanes will not only fly around Taiwan island, they could also fly across the so-called "middle line" at any time according to the situation, and will sooner or later fly over the island. In short, if the secessionists take one step forward, we will definitely increase corresponding military and comprehensive pressure on them.

China's Defense Ministry and the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council have repeatedly stated that the PLA sent more warplanes for regular patrols near Taiwan island than the figure claimed by the DPP authority. The flight routes have been like a noose tightening around the neck of "Taiwan secessionists," making them feel breathless. If these stubborn secessionists continue to challenge the bottom line of the "one-China" principle, the noose will become tighter.