The Ministry of National Defense (MND) of the Republic of China revealed in a Thursday social media memo that air defense systems were activated and ROCAF fighter jets scrambled after a Shaanxi Y-8 of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) entered Taiwan’s southwest ADIZ.
One PLA Y-8 ASW aircraft entered #Taiwan’s southwest ADIZ on Oct. 1, the flight path as illustrated. #ROCAF fighters scrambled and deployed air defense missile system to monitor the activity. No mater what happened, we will Keep #protectourcountry firmly. pic.twitter.com/90Y9N4QTm4— 國防部 Ministry of National Defense, R.O.C. 🇹🇼 (@MoNDefense) October 1, 2020
“No mater [sic] what happened, we will Keep #protectourcountry firmly,” the MND said in a Thursday tweet.
Similar occurrences have become somewhat commonplace in recent months. Following a September 21 incident involving 37 Chinese aircraft, Taipei highlighted that it has the right to “self-defense and to counterattack.”
China has maintained that it views Taiwan as a breakaway province, and while the island has its own government, the “One-China policy” states that there is only one sovereign China. The US has acknowledged the policy while also approving over $15 billion in arms sales to Taiwan since 2010.
Lockheed Martin was awarded a $62 billion defense contract on August 14 for the production of 90 F-16 Foreign Military Sale (FMS) aircraft - 66 of which are slated for purchase by Taiwan. The formal agreement, if carried out, would be Washington’s first advanced fighter jet sale to Taiwan since 1992.
Beijing has been incredibly vocal regarding its disapproval of the deal throughout its development.
Hua Chunying, a spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry, responded to the August 2019 announcement of the potential sale, noting at the time that the aircraft delivery would result in “strong reactions, and the US will have to bear all the consequences.”
The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) conducted a series of exercises, including live-fire drills, near the Taiwan Strait in September to “protect its sovereignty,” Chinese Defense Ministry spokesperson Ren Guoqiang asserted on September 18.
Ren also slammed Washington’s relationship with Taipei, accusing the two governments of "stepping up collusion, frequently causing disturbances.”
The defense official asserted that "using Taiwan to control China" or, in the case of the ROC, attempting to "rely on foreigners to build oneself up," would be unsuccessful.
"Those who play with fire will get burnt," Ren promised.
Beijing’s threats have recently been accompanied by the increased PLAAF aircraft presence near Taiwan. Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told reporters on September 22 that the provocations are “virtually a daily occurrence.”