China claims democratically-ruled Taiwan as its own territory and has mounted repeated air force missions into Taiwan’s air defence identification zone (ADIZ) over the past year, provoking anger in Taipei. China sent around 150 aircraft into the zone over a four-day period beginning on October 1 in a further heightening of tension between Beijing and Taipei that has sparked concern internationally. Republican strategist John Ullyot said these incursions are also to test whether Joe Biden and his team will step in to defend Taiwan.
Speaking to EWTN, Mr Ullyot said: “It’s pretty clear that China sense weakness from the Biden administration so they’re willing to test Taiwan and how serious we are about protecting Taiwan if at all militarily.
“The Chinese communist party’s military has been sending planes into the air defence identification zone which is not actually over Taiwan but close to it.
“They’ve doubled the number of flights from two weeks ago that they’d normally do.
“They’re really ramping up their testing of Taiwan’s military response to their air incursions and they’re sending a signal that they’re very belligerent.
“They’re testing Taiwan but they’re also sending a signal to Biden and his team that they don’t take our willingness to defend Taiwan as seriously as they did under President Trump and previous administrations.
“It’s a real challenge.”
The US military said the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey sailed through the narrow waterway that separates Taiwan from its giant neighbour China along with the Canadian frigate HMCS Winnipeg on Thursday and Friday.
“Dewey’s and Winnipeg’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the commitment of the United States and our allies and partners to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” it added.
US Navy ships have been transiting the strait roughly monthly, to the anger of Beijing, which has accused Washington of stoking regional tensions. US allies occasionally also send ships through the strait, including Britain last month.
While tensions across the Taiwan Strait have risen, there has been no shooting and Chinese aircraft have not entered Taiwanese air space, concentrating their activity in the southwestern part of the ADIZ.
While including Taiwanese territorial air space, the ADIZ encompasses a broader area that Taiwan monitors and patrols that acts to give it more time to respond to any threats.
Taiwan’s defence ministry said on Sunday that three Chinese aircraft – two J-16 fighters and an anti-submarine aircraft – flew into the ADIZ again.