China continues to violate Taiwan’s airspace while the PLA Navy (PLAN) commissioned its fourth new Type 052D destroyer, the Kaifeng, amid the centenary celebrations of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) on July 2.
In the latest incursion, a Chinese military aircraft flew into Taiwan’s Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) on July 4, 2021.
Taiwan News reported quoting the Ministry of National Defence that a PLA Air Force (PLAAF) Shaanxi Y-8 anti-submarine warfare plane entered the southwest corner of Taiwan’s ADIZ.
The Chinese incursion prompted the self-governing island to issue warnings to Beijing in a radio broadcast and deploy air defense missile radar to monitor the PLAAF plane.
This is the “third” Chinese incursion in July alone, according to Taiwan News. Earlier, Chinese turboprop planes were spied out on July 2, 3, and 4.
— 國防部 Ministry of National Defense, R.O.C. 🇹🇼 (@MoNDefense) July 4, 2021
According to Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence, China had sent over its aircraft into Taiwan’s predefined area 10 times in June, 18 times in May, 22 times in April, 18 times in March, 17 times in February, and 27 times in January.
On June 15, at least 28 Chinese military aircraft, including J-16 fighter jets, flew into Taiwan’s Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ), making it the largest incursion so far, reported The Eurasian Times.
Since last September, there has been a sharp increase in Chinese air activities, particularly in the southwest corner of the ADIZ, where Chinese aircraft have been spied out.
Beijing perceives growing US-Taiwan relations as a threat to its sovereignty. Therefore, it deems it necessary to protect its sovereignty and if necessary, it can resort to force to reunify Taiwan, as stated by Beijing earlier.
China’s New Destroyer
Meanwhile, the PLA Navy North Sea Fleet commissioned its fourth new Type 052D guided-missile destroyer, the Kaifeng on July 2.
State-owned Global Times said the warship Kaifeng set sail and held a combat scenario exercise in an undisclosed body of water. The warship also held live-fire drills involving the shooting of the main gun and the close-in weapons system.
Apart from ‘Kaifeng’, the Chinese Navy has three other Type 052D destroyers — Suzhou, the Huainan and the Nanning.
The Chinese shipbuilding industry has made rapid progress of late, PLA Navy commissioning many warships in the first half this year alone and more will come in the second half, according to analysts.
In April this year, China commissioned three main battle warships, including a nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine, a large destroyer, and the country’s largest amphibious assault ship that can carry around 30 helicopters and hundreds of troops.
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According to reports, China aims to develop its first-ever ‘nuclear-powered aircraft carrier’ by 2025.
Nuclear-powered propulsion offers great advantages to a ship’s durability and mission profile. While countries like the UK have rejected the idea of having this system on their ship due to cost issues, the United States and France are currently the only two countries moving nuclear-powered aircraft carrier(s).
Media reports suggest that two Type 055 large destroyers, the Lhasa and the Dalian, in addition to the Type 075 amphibious assault ship Hainan and the Type 09IV nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine Changzheng 18 have been inducted by the PLA Navy.
Written by Kanika Sachdeva