China carries out a massive deployment of its air force near Taiwan: 32 aircraft were detected around the island

According to reports, a Chinese drone flew 44 nautical miles from the eastern county of Hualien, where the strategic Chiashan air base is located.

China’s military forces carried out a massive deployment of its air and naval force near the island of Taiwan, sparking concerns about an escalation of tensions in the region.

According to reports from the Taiwan Ministry of Defense, during a 24-hour period that ended at 6 a.m. this Thursday, 32 aircraft were present, 20 of which crossed the so-called median line of the Taiwan Strait, the unofficial line that separates the island from China.

Among the detected aircraft, a dozen fighter jets and drones were spotted west of the median line of the Taiwan Strait. Another 19 manned attack and support aircraft were also spotted operating in the southwestern sector of Taiwan’s air defense zone. Additionally, a Chinese drone was reported to have carried out a long-range raid that brought it within 44 nautical miles of eastern Hualien County, home to one of Taiwan’s most strategic air bases.

Taiwan’s Chiashan Air Base in Hualien is considered one of the island’s best-kept secrets due to its extensive underground hangars, essential for surviving missile bombardments before a possible invasion. Despite some debates about the importance of this base in recent years, it remains a critical point for Taiwan’s defense in the face of China’s growing military capabilities.

In addition to the aircraft, the island also reported the presence of five Chinese warships near the island.

In response to these incursions, Taiwan deployed combat air patrols, warships, and coastal air defense systems.

Although Taiwan generally does not view incursions by Chinese fighter jets as an immediate threat to its national security, it recently reaffirmed that its forces would be authorized to open fire if Beijing’s planes, manned or unmanned, violated Taiwan airspace, which extends up to 12 nautical miles from the coast.

These aggressive actions by China have exacerbated tensions in the Taiwan Strait, an area that has long been a point of friction between Taiwan and China. Beijing claims the island as part of its territory and has been increasing its military and diplomatic pressure on Taiwan in recent years.

China could invade Taiwan in 2027

The United States, Taiwan’s main international ally, has expressed its support for the island and has maintained a regular presence in the region as part of its commitment to security and stability in the Western Pacific. However, escalating tensions between China and Taiwan pose significant challenges.

The head of the Indo-Pacific Command, Admiral John Aquilino, warned that “all indications point” that China would be ready to invade Taiwan in 2027. According to Aquilino, the Asian giant has been preparing to strengthen its People’s Liberation Army (PLA) “on a scale not seen” since World War II.

“Perhaps most concerning has been the rapid pace at which (China) has bolstered its nuclear arsenal, increasing its warhead inventory by well over 100% since 2020,” he revealed.