Twenty-eight Chinese military planes flew into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zones (ADIZ) Tuesday — the largest incursion since the self-ruled island began regularly reporting such actions last year, according to Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense.
Tuesday’s flights — which included fighter jets, bombers, and anti-submarine and early warning aircraft — surpassed the previous peak of 25 planes reported April 12.
Beijing claims full sovereignty over Taiwan, a democracy of almost 24 million people located off the southeastern coast of mainland China, even though the two sides have been governed separately for more than seven decades.
While there was no immediate comment from Beijing on Tuesday’s flights, the news comes after the Group of Seven (G7) leaders issued a joint statement on Sunday scolding China for a series of issues and underscored the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait — comments China condemned as “slander.”
But analysts said Tuesday’s flights likely served several purposes for China, both demonstrating the strength of the country’s People’s Liberation Army to a domestic audience, while giving the PLA intelligence and skills it would need in any potential conflict involving Taiwan.