China WW3 fears after military jets fly over Taiwan – conflict ‘shouldn’t be discounted’

China's advanced stealth drones discussed by Hildebrand

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Today Taiwan’s air force rushed to the skies after 25 Chinese military aircraft entered its air defence zone. The military craft were marking China’s national day – when the formal proclamation of the establishment of the People’s Republic of China was enacted.

For the past year, Taiwan has pushed back against China repeatedly entering its airspace.

While China claims Taiwan, Taiwan says it is an independent country and will defend its freedom and democracy.

China’s latest mission saw 18 J-16 and four Su-30 fighters plus two nuclear-capable H-6 bombers and an anti-submarine aircraft enter Taiwanese airspace the Taiwan ministry said.

The ministry added Taiwan sent combat aircraft to warn away the Chinese aircraft, while missile systems were deployed to monitor them.

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The Chinese aircraft flew in an area close to the Pratas, with the two bombers flying closest to the atoll, according to a map from the ministry.

China has not yet commented on the flight – but these military drills are not rare.

In June the largest fleet of planes to date took flight across Taiwan’s airspace, with 28 Chinese air force aircraft.

Tensions between China and Taiwan have been mounting in recent weeks, with a blistering attack from the Chinese government on Thursday.

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said Taiwan’s foreign minister Joseph Wu was a “diehard” supporter of Taiwan independence who peddled “lies” about the island.

Quoting a poem by former leader of China Mao Zedong, Beijing’s Taiwan Affairs Office denounced Mr Wu as a “shrilling” fly for his efforts to promote Taiwan internationally.

The Office said: “All forms of comments on Taiwan independence are but flies ‘humming, with a burst of shrilling and a fit of sobbing”.

In response, Taiwan’s foreign ministry dismissed the attack as “not worthy” of retaliation.

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However, Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, which deals with formulating policies on China did respond, describing Beijing’s words as “slander and abuse”.

They said: “This kind of verbal violence, unprecedented in the international community, only highlights the overstepping of the rules of the Taiwan-related body on the other side of the Taiwan Strait and how far away it is from civilised society.”

Mr Wu is a fluent English speaker and outspoken supporter of the island’s efforts to push back against pressure from China.

Taiwan has the support of several key countries, including the United States.

Speaking to an online forum organised by the Global Taiwan Institute on Taiwan-US relations and attended by several former senior US officials, Mr Wu reiterated the importance of Taiwan.

Mr Wu said Taiwan played a “significant role” in ensuring freedom of navigation in the strategically important Taiwan Strait and South China Sea.

He said: “Both of them are critical to peace and stability in the Indo Pacific region.

“Most importantly, a democratic Taiwan serves as a sea fortress to block China’s expansionism into the wider Pacific.”

President Xi Jinping’s calls in 2019 to “reunify” Taiwan have seen tensions mount.

This was further complicated by a defence pact announced last week between Australia, the UK and US.

The three countries announced they would share military technology – including giving Australia its first fleet of nuclear submarines.

Beijing was angry at the announcement, dubbing it a “Cold War mentality” and warning it risks stability in the region.

Further adding fuel to the fire, Australian defence minister Peter Dutton admitted war with China is possible.

He said Taiwan could be the tipping point.

Mr Dutton said the deal was in aid of “peace” but said conflict with China “shouldn’t be discounted”.

He said: “The Chinese.. are very clear of their intent with regard to Taiwan [and] the United States has been very clear of their intention toward Taiwan.

“Nobody wants to see conflict but that really is a question for the Chinese.”

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