China Sends Nearly 40 Warplanes Towards Taiwan

On Sunday, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) sent 39 warplanes on a flight path towards Taiwan in its latest act of military aggression against the small island nation.

As reported by ABC News, the Chinese formation which departed on Sunday night is already the largest group of warplanes sent to Taiwan in the new year. Among the aircraft were 24 J-16 fighter jets and 10 J-10 jets. Other aircraft in the formation included those designed for electronic warfare.

On the same day, two American aircraft carriers – the USS Abraham Lincoln and the USS Carl Vinson – sailed through the South China Sea, engaging in anti-submarine, air and combat readiness operations.

In response to the Chinese aggression, Taiwan scrambled jets of its own and tracked the movements of the PLA formation via radar. While Chinese warplanes flying near Taiwan has become an almost daily occurrence, the sheer size of this particular group was unusual; the previous largest PLA formation to buzz Taiwan, back in October, consisted of 56 aircraft.

Following a civil war between China and Taiwan in 1949, the island has claimed independence from the mainland, while the larger country maintains that the island is still part of Chinese territory. Tensions rose higher following Taiwan’s 2016 presidential election, in which Tsai Ing-wen, who took a more hawkish stance on China than his predecessor, was elected. China responded by cutting off prior communication channels with the government of Taiwan.

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

Photo: Ships in the South China Sea, Taiwan, February 2nd, 2021. An Rong Xu/Getty Images