China increases naval and air exercises around Taiwan

It has been several years now, since the return to power of the Progressive Democratic Party in 2016 with the election of Tsai Ing-wen, a staunch opponent of unification with the People's Republic of China, as president of the Republic of Taiwan, that tensions cease to grow between Taipei and Beijing. Tensions that have been greatly exacerbated by the Trump presidency, the latter's policy of economic coup against China, and the very significant increase in arms sales in Taipei these last years. But until now, the demonstrations of force of the People's Liberation Army had remained measured, and always at a reasonable distance from the independent island since 1949, in order not to provoke an uncontrolled escalation. In recent months, however, Chinese military activity has significantly increased around the island, and has changed dramatically to now represent an almost daily threat against the island.

If, just a month ago, the Chinese air forces were content to temporarily cross the fictitious line marking the middle of the Taiwan Strait which, until now, served as the de facto border between the two countries, they are now multiplying, on an almost daily base, the missions in order to demonstrate its capacities to surround the island, and thus to isolate it from any economic and especially military support which could be dispatched by the allies of Taipei in the event of crisis. Indeed, for 3 weeks now, the APL has been deploying at a very sustained rate squadrons usually made up of more than ten combat aircraft such as J-11 heavy fighter, J-10 light fighter, J-16 fighter bomber, KJ-500 advance warning aircraft and Y8 anti-submarine warfare aircraft, to conduct missions bypassing the island, from the north as from the south, most often brushing against Taiwanese national airspace.

J-11 heavy fighters regularly accompany the squadrons sent by Beijing to evolve around Taiwan. Derived from the Su-27, this aircraft has modernized avionics and can implement high performance air-to-air missiles, such as the long-range PL-15.

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