BY TYLER DURDENTUESDAY, JUN 15, 2021 – 11:45 PM
The timing appears an unmistakable message and warning to the West after on Monday NATO issued a communiqué which for the first time ever singled out China as a central security “challenge” to the military alliance and a stable global order: China’s PLA military on Tuesday flew a record 28 fighter jets into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone.
While China has over the past months since Biden took office flown near daily groups of aircraft and bombers near or in Taiwan contested airspace, this latest comes as Biden is in Europe shoring up support among allies for a tougher united front against Beijing. In March China’s military had sent a record at that time of 20 aircraft, which included four nuclear-capable bombers, but Tuesday’s 28 total aircraft marks the biggest incursion since Taiwan’s defense ministry began keeping public tally of incursions.
According to the AP, “The planes included various types of fighter jets including 14 J-16 and six J-11 planes, as well as bombers, the ministry said.” And further the report noted “China’s show of force comes after leaders of the Group of Seven industrialized nations issued a statement Sunday calling for a peaceful resolution of cross-Taiwan Strait issues and underscored the importance of peace and stability.”
In response Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian on Tuesday slammed the G-7 nations as deliberately “interfering in China’s internal affairs.” He added: “China’s determination to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests is unwavering.”
NATO’s later communiqué was even more muscular, calling out China’s “assertive behavior which presents systemic challenges to the rules-based international order and to areas relevant to Alliance security.”
This new record-setting PLA incursion is no doubt is meant as a further “answer” to the Western powers which are increasingly defining a new global security priority as ‘confronting’ a rising China.
It also comes just after a US carrier group entered the South China Sea on Tuesday. The strike group’s aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan was accompanied by the guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh and the guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey. The group of vessels entered the heavily disputed South China Sea waters on Tuesday to conduct a maritime security operation.