As Beijing stepped up its threats against the island democracy in 2022, the number of Chinese warplane incursions into Taiwan’s air defense zone nearly doubled.
Self-ruled Taiwan is constantly in danger of attack. The island is allegedly a part of China, and its Communist Party rulers have sworn to one day annex it.
Under President Xi Jinping, the most aggressive leader of China in a generation, relations have been chilly for years.
However, the situation got worse in 2022 as a result of Xi’s military stepping up incursions and starting the biggest war drills in decades in protest of Nancy Pelosi’s visit in August.
According to an AFP database based on daily information provided by Taipei’s defense ministry, China sent 1,727 aircraft into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) in 2022.
Comparatively, there were 380 in 2020 and about 960 in 2021.
While bomber intrusions, including those by the nuclear-capable H6, increased from 60 to 101, the number of sorties by fighter jets more than doubled from 538 in 2021 to 1,241.
Drone incursions also made their debut in 2017, with all 71 of them according to Taiwan’s military occurring after Pelosi’s visit.
According to military observers, China has used the intrusions as a means to test Taiwan’s defenses, deplete its aging air force, and express unhappiness with Western support for Taipei, particularly that of the United States.