Dismissing Taiwanese claims over Chinese warplanes incursion, China on Thursday, in a rather belligerent tone, said it sent more than 940 fighters planes for routine drills which are more than what Taiwanese authorities have said.
"The PLA dispatched more warplanes to routine drills near Taiwan than the DPP authorities revealed, Chinese Defense Ministry said in response to DPP's recent claims that the mainland conducted 940 warplane sorties near the Taiwan island this year," Global Times reported.
Taiwan witnessed 950 intrusions by the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) military planes into its Air Defence Identification Zone in 2021 so far, a 60 per cent increase from the previous year.
Moreover, Taiwanese media reported that the island is anticipating a further rise in the number of intrusions as China has ramped up sorties over the past few years.
The number of flights is expected to increase further as tensions rise over major political events on two sides of the Taiwan Strait in 2022, Taiwan News reported.
Kuo Yu-jen, director of the Institute for National Policy Research, was cited by Bloomberg as warning that "China will send more military fighter planes into Taiwan's ADIZ next year with more intimidating operations."
Kuo stressed that the situation in the ADIZ will need to be closely monitored because it will be a "turning point."
Since mid-September of last year, Beijing has stepped up its grey-zone tactics by regularly sending planes into Taiwan's ADIZ, with most instances occurring in the southwest corner of the zone and usually consisting of one to three slow-flying turboprop planes.
Beijing claims full sovereignty over Taiwan, a democracy of almost 24 million people located off the southeastern coast of mainland China, despite the fact that the two sides have been governed separately for more than seven decades.
Taipei, on the other hand, has countered the Chinese aggression by increasing strategic ties with democracies including the US, which has been repeatedly opposed by Beijing. China has threatened that "Taiwan's independence" means war. (ANI)