China’s state-run Global Times was positively giddy on Tuesday about the latest Chinese Communist incursion into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), claiming the flight of 39 warplanes left the “Taiwan secessionists” feeling demoralized and subdued.
Sunday night’s incursion by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was the largest Chinese show of force in the new year, although not the largest in recent months.
According to Taiwan’s Defense Ministry, the flight was notable for including a nuclear-capable H-6 bomber and two J-16D fighters, a new variant of the J-16 platform with advanced electronic warfare capabilities that would be useful in attacking Taiwan’s air defenses.
Thirteen more Chinese warplanes flew near Taiwan on Monday, including ten J-16s with the traditional configuration.
Military analysts in Taiwan, Japan, and the United States suspected China’s belligerent flight into the ADIZ was prompted by two American aircraft carriers conducting joint exercises with Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force in the Philippine Sea.
On Monday, the U.S. Navy said that the carriers USS Carl Vinson and USS Abraham Lincoln will continue exercises in the region to demonstrate America’s “ability to deliver a powerful maritime force.”
The Global Times grumbled about the American carriers training alongside Japanese forces, asking, “Who is the outsider coming here to stir up trouble? Who is creating tensions in the region? The answer is obvious.”
However, most of the Chinese Communist editorial was devoted to patronizing the Taiwanese as “very nervous and upset” because the PLA’s repeated shows of strength have supposedly made them realize America cannot save them.
“It should be emphasized that there is no essential difference between the PLA warplanes flying over Taiwan and US military warplanes over Hawaii. Taiwan is a part of China’s territory. There has never been the concept of ‘Taiwan airspace’ in the world, but only ‘China airspace,’” the Global Times hyperventilated.
The editorial crowed that Taiwan is finally getting the message from years of PLA exercises, predicting “secessionists” in Taipei will back away from America’s sinister plot to start a Chinese civil war:
Over the past two years, the DPP authority and “Taiwan secessionist” forces have made more moves seeking “independence,” and the plot of external forces to “exploit Taiwan to contain Chinese mainland” has become more explicit. The US has been playing the Taiwan card more frequently from the Trump to the Biden administration, playing edge balls and conducting salami-slicing tactics on the one-China principle. It has encouraged the arrogance of “Taiwan secessionist” forces, severely provoking the Chinese mainland.
… The effect of PLA warplanes flying around Taiwan island is obvious. Imagine, if there is no strong anti-secessionist military deterrence from the PLA, will the DPP authority and “Taiwan secessionist” forces be more arrogant and radical? Will they go further in the secessionist direction? Now they dare not promote “de jure independence” of the Taiwan island, not because they grew a conscience, but because they dare not. They are fully aware that the PLA will definitely take decisive measures, so they do not have the nerve to do whatever they want. The pressure from the PLA has also begun to prompt some people on the island to think more profoundly about the future of the island and to make a forceful critique on the separatist behavior of the DPP authority.
The Global Times tallied up almost a thousand “patrols around the Taiwan island in 2021” and gleefully predicted there will be even more in 2022, including more incursions by advanced planes like the J-16D, whose debut in the ADIZ on Sunday sent a “self-evident” message about how easily the PLA can erase Taiwan’s defenses.
The Global Times wrapped up by claiming China sent even more warplanes than Taiwan could detect and threatened the PLA would soon be flying right over the island instead of just skirting around the edges of its ADIZ.
“The flight routes have been like a noose tightening around the neck of ‘Taiwan secessionists,’ making them feel breathless. If these stubborn secessionists continue to challenge the bottom line of the ‘one-China’ principle, the noose will become tighter,” the overheated editorial concluded.