Chinese J-16 and Su-30 fighters crossed the Taiwan Strait median

TAIPEI ($1=30.71 Taiwan New Dollars) — Chinese warplanes, including J-10, J-16, and Su-30 have crossed the median of the Taiwan Strait. This happened within the last 24 hours. From 6:00 am on December 25th to 6:00 am on December 26th. Along with the fighter jets, China has sent seven warships as well.

Chinese J-16 approaches an Australian P-8A and starts firing
Photo credit: Chinese MoD

Sources said it was a show of force by Beijing in response to the recently passed legislation in Washington. BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that Washington recently adopted its defense spending in 2023. The government document called China a “challenge to the US”.

In addition to defense spending of $2 billion for each of the next five years, Washington plans joint military planning, training, and exercises with Taiwan. BulgarianMilitary.com is reporting that Taiwan is expecting US$19 billion worth of arms shipments from the US. Among them are the Harpoon anti-ship missile systems, the Javelin and Stinger anti-tank missile systems, as well as the M109A6 self-propelled howitzer.

A total of 71 warplanes have been sent by China to Taiwan in the past 24 hours. However, Taiwan said it was monitoring the movements of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army air force and navy.

A spokesman for the PLA’s Eastern Theater Command, Mr. Shi Yi, said in an official press release that China’s maneuvers were a response to increasing provocation by the US and Taiwan. Mr. Shi announced that the dispatched warplanes and ships were conducting a strike exercise in the waters around Taiwan.

On September 22 this year, Chinese President and Central Military Commission chief Xi Jinping said that China’s People’s Liberation Army [PLA] should focus on preparing to take part in actual military operations.

China sent EW and spy aircraft to Taiwan southwestern airspace
Photo credit: Wikipedia

The first serious signals of rising tensions between China and Taiwan came as early as this August when Beijing presented a plan to annex Taiwan. “Beijing will work with the utmost sincerity and make maximum efforts to achieve peaceful reunification, but we will not give up the use of force and reserve the option to take any necessary measures,” the Chinese Cabinet’s Taiwan Affairs Office statement said.

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