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China-Taiwan tensions spike after Beijing despatches H-6 bombers into Taipei’s airspace

The Chinese H-6 bomber (Photo: Taiwan Ministry of National Defence)

China sent nearly 11 military aircraft including two H-6 bombers in Taiwan's air defence identification zone (ADIZ) on Wednesday, keeping fears alive that the communist country might attack its smaller eastern neighbour.

Taiwan News quoted the Ministry of National Defence as saying that in response, Taiwan sent aircraft, issued radio warnings and deployed air defence missile systems to track the Chinese planes.

The 11 military aircraft included seven Shenyang J-16 fighter jets, one Shaanxi Y-8 EW electronic warfare plane, one Shaanxi KJ-500 airborne early warning and control aircraft and two Xi'an H-6 strategic bombers.

China has been intruding into the Taiwanese ADIZ almost on a daily basis now, trying to browbeat the democratic island nation into submission. China considers Taiwan to be part of the mainland while the latter continues to remain independent of Chinese control with a thriving democracy.

Wednesday's intrusion is considered significant as this was the highest number of intrusions by Chinese military aircraft in April. Taiwan is apprehensive that the Russian invasion of Ukraine might give similar ideas to an aggressive Beijing, which has inflicted numerous military intrusions upon neighbours in South Asia and South-East Asia.

Taiwan too has been preparing itself against a possible military adventure by China. It has increased weapon imports from the US, has strengthened relations with Japan and is monitoring the Ukraine war carefully, as was highlighted by its Defence Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said on Wednesday.

Chiu said that the events in Ukraine held important lessons for Taiwan and added that Taiwan needed to watch developments closely because of lessons that could be learnt from each incident of the Russia-Ukraine war. The sinking of the Russian battleship, Moskva by Ukrainian missiles could be worrying for China as its own battleships are based on Russian designs.

Energy and food imports could be China's Achilles Heel in case it attacks Taiwan and has to face international sanctions and blockades, says the Taiwan News report.