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Global Times claims intruding Chinese planes in search of US nuclear submarines

Chinese state media says warplane incursions near Taiwan aim at detecting US activities

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Chengdu J-10 fighter jet. (Wikimedia Commons photo)

Chengdu J-10 fighter jet. (Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Beijing's state-run mouthpiece the Global Times claimed Monday (Oct. 26) that the People's Liberation Army (PLA) incursions into Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) are aimed at detecting U.S. activities in the Taiwan Strait.

In an attempt to defend the increased frequency of Chinese jet incursions into Taiwan's ADIZ, the Global Times insisted that submarines in waters south of Taiwan are mostly from Beijing, Taiwan, Japan, Australia, and the U.S. It claimed that the PLA planes are on a mission to detect U.S. nuclear submarines near Taiwan.

The Global Times argued that although the American aircraft carriers are no longer allowed to visit Hong Kong, they can still be seen near China's territorial waters. It added that the presence of U.S. aircraft carriers would indicate that there are nuclear submarines nearby to protect them, so it is highly possible that U.S. nuclear submarines are operating in the southwest Taiwanese waters.

The Global Times claimed the PLA wants to gather as much information on the U.S. nuclear submarines as possible for future reference. It also noted that the target of intruding Chinese jets may not be the Taiwanese Navy, but its "protector" instead.

Since Sept. 16, there have been 24 PLA incursions into Taiwan's ADIZ. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has warned against Chinese saber-rattling and expressed great resolve in defending the country's sovereignty.