TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Wednesday (June 22) issued a defiant statement refusing to surrender its sovereignty to the "big bully" after China sent 29 military aircraft into its air defense identification zone (ADIZ).
On Tuesday evening (June 21), the Ministry of National Defense (MND) announced that 29 People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) aircraft had infringed on Taiwan's ADIZ. Eight Shenyang J-16 fighter jets, five Shenyang J-11 fighter planes, four Sukhoi Su-30 jet fighters, two KJ-500 airborne early warning and control planes, one Shaanxi Y-8 anti-submarine warfare plane, and one Xian Y-20 aerial refueling aircraft were detected in the southwest corner of the ADIZ.
There were also six Xian H-6 bombers, one Shaanxi Y-9 electronic warfare plane, and one Shaanxi Y-8 electronic intelligence plane which flew along a wide swath from the southwest corner to the southeast corner and back.
The MND said that it responded by scrambling combat patrol aircraft, issuing radio warnings, and deploying air defense missile systems. The appearance of the 29 PLAAF planes on Tuesday was the third-largest intrusion recorded this year, following 30 on May 30 and 39 on Jan. 23.
On Wednesday morning, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) posted a tweet on MOFA's Twitter account stating that the latest large-scale harassment of the ADIZ by PLAAF aircraft demonstrates that "authoritarian #China's military threat is more serious than ever." Wu then vowed that there is "no way #Taiwan will cave in & surrender its sovereignty & democracy to the big bully. Not a chance!"
A U.S. State Department official was cited by Reuters as responding to the incident by calling on China to "cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure and intimidation against Taiwan."