South China Sea: PLA ‘increasingly threatening’ in South China Sea in warning to US | World | News

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China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) flew into Taiwan’s air defence zone hundreds of times 2020, increasing towards the end of the year, according to reports. The activity has been seen as a sign of high tensions between Beijing and Taiwan.

China sees the latter island nation as a part of its own territory, though Taiwan has pushed back against this.

Heino Klinck, a China military expert and former Pentagon official, has pointed to an increase in the frequency of “PLA intrusions into Taiwan air space” and told the Financial Times: “The PLA has become increasingly threatening and aggressive with the effect of destabilising the entire region.”

According to analysts, Beijing’s frequent incursions into Taiwan’s air defence zone is multi-faceted.

On one hand, there are China’s tensions with the US, which also conducts missions in the area including so-called Freedom of Navigation Operations.

According to FT, one Taiwanese official has said: “They are coming partly because the Americans are coming.”

However, there is also China’s need to practice for missions of its own.

READ: China news: China launched three military spy satellites into orbit

On Tuesday this week, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense reported a Chinese Y-8 anti-submarine aircraft entered Taiwan’s southwest ADIZ the day before.

Late last year, Taiwan began production of its first domestically-made submarines.

The event was marked by a shipyard ceremony, where the nation’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, said the submarines would play “an important part of allowing our navy to develop asymmetric warfare and to intimidate and block enemy ships,” The Diplomat reports.

On Twitter, she added: “We’re more determined than ever to continue developing our self-defence industries and safeguard our sovereignty and democracy.”

The submarines are going to be diesel-powered, and eight are planned to be built in total.

The project is said to have cost a total of $16 billion, with the first submarine set to be finished by 2024.





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