1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

China sends 71 warplanes to Taiwan's air defense zone

December 26, 2022

Beijing dispatched the aircraft into Taiwan's air defense identification zone in what it called a response to "provocations" and "collusion" between the US and Taiwan.

Chengdu J-20 stealth fighter jets perform at the Airshow China in Zhuhai, Guangdong province, China
More than 1,700 such Chinese incursions have occurred so far this yearImage: CFOTO/picture alliance

In its largest incursion to date, China sent 71 military aircraft into Taiwan's air defence identification zone in the past 24 hours, Taipei said on Monday.

China claimed its "strike drill" and "combat patrols," which included fighter jets and drones, on Sunday was in reaction to "provocations" and "collusion" between the United States and Taiwan.

"This is a firm response to the current US-Taiwan escalation and provocation," said Shi Yi, the spokesperson for the People's Liberation Army's (PLA) Eastern Theater Command, in a statement on Sunday.

43 aircraft cross the median line

According to a Taiwanese Defense Ministry report, 43 Chinese aircraft reportedly crossed the median line, an unofficial barrier between the two sides located within the defence zone in the Taiwan Strait.

The PLA also sent early warning, electronic-warfare and antisubmarine aircraft into Taiwan's southern air defence identification zone (ADIZ).

Taiwan deployed unspecified fighter aircraft to warn the Chinese jets off while its missile systems monitored their flight, the island government said.

More than 1,700 incursions this year

Chinese pressure on the self-ruled island has been rising steadily in recent years.

Under President Xi Jinping, Beijing has increased pressure on Taiwan through military, political, and economic means as ties have worsened.

Taiwan under increasing pressure from Chinese military: Ava Shen, Eurasia Group

More than 1,700 such incursions have occurred so far this year, compared to 969 in 2021 and 146 in 2020, according to the news agency AFP.

The Taiwanese administration says that it seeks peace but that it would defend itself if necessary.

$10 billion in US military aid to Taiwan

Washington has stepped up support for Taiwan, including a bill this month that authorized $10 billion (€9.4 billion) in military aid. 

Beijing has expressed "strong opposition."

Taiwan does not have a lot of options: Elizabeth Freund Larus, Pacific Forum

Tensions between Beijing and Taipei have been high since August when US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan. In retaliation for her visit, the PLA staged massive military exercises around the island.

ss/ar (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)


Skip next section Explore more