China’s Recent Show of Airpower Includes 39 Warplanes


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Planes in flight

Taiwan has always been a controversial topic of whether or not it is its own country, or a part of China, ever since the Chinese government’s claim. Now, Taiwan is under the looming threat of a possible invasion by China whether it be by force or voluntary. On January 24, 2022, China displayed their largest threat to Taiwan, flying 39 fighter jets, including bombers, into Taiwanese Air defense zone.

Nearing the end of 2021, there was a large spike in the amount of incursions which caused China to be within the Taiwanese Air Defense Territory. The Taiwan defense ministry has stated that this is the second largest incursion ever seen, with the highest being 56 on October 4th, 2020. The warplanes seen, according to the Taiwanese Defense Ministry, are 24 J-16 multirole fighters, which appear to be China’s favorite method of testing the defenses of Taiwan, in addition to their 10 J-10 jet fighters and an Xian H-6 jet bomber capable of delivering nuclear bombs. As China continues to show their military airpower, it leads people to believe that China will soon forcibly invade Taiwan and reclaim that land. Although Taiwan has only been publicly publishing this information since 2020, it is clear that China has been doing this for a while. Last year, Taiwan had already recorded 969 incursions, compared to the mere 380 in 2020. Since the new Taiwanese president was elected in 2016, China has definitely started increasing the amount of such incursions. This is probably due to the fact that the new president sees Taiwan as his own country, rather than a part of China.

Under such tension with the Chinese air force, it’s not surprising that Taiwan has already lost many lives because of this. The Taiwanese air force temporarily grounded all of their F-16 multirole fighter jets at the beginning of January, after their most advanced module crashed, killing a single pilot.

To this day, people are still unsure why China decided to launch such a large mission in a single day. Several days before, China had already flown 13 warplanes into the territory of Taiwan. It could have been in response to the US naval exercise, with two guided missile planes and two destroyers.

Although January 24, 2022 saw one of the largest incursions in the Taiwan Air Defense, it remains to be seen whether or not the Chinese plan to conquer by force, despite repeatedly flying into the Taiwanese air defense zone. With this, many people think that they will, especially with many Americans following the same ideals as China, but that remains to be seen.