New Chinese show of force around Taiwan following the visit of a US senator

While media attention is focused on the war in Ukraine, tensions between Beijing and Washington over the island of Taiwan continue to grow, with strong demonstrations of force by the Chinese and American armies near the independent island. Thus, this weekend, the naval groups of the aircraft carriers USS Ronald Reagan and USS Abraham Lincoln participated in an important joint exercise between the Japanese island of Okinawa and Taiwan, after the Chinese naval group of the aircraft carrier Liaoning returned from an exercise in the Western Pacific passing through the Miyako Strait a few days earlier. Today, 30 combat aircraft from the Chinese air force carried out, as has already been the case on several occasions for 2 years now, an air mission by entering the air identification zone in the south of the island. of Taiwan, constituting the second largest mission of this type this year, after 39 Chinese aircraft participated in a similar mission on January 23, but did not reach the record of 52 devices of April 10, 2021.

As always, it was for Beijing to mark its annoyance in response to an American action, in this case the official visit of Democratic Senator Tammy Duckworth, and her delegation, during a 3-day official visit. on the independent island to meet, among others, several local and regional elected officials. It must be said that Tammy Duckworth is a figure of weight in the American Senate as well as in the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Democratic Party. A former helicopter pilot in the US Army, she lost both her legs when her UH-60 Black Hawk was shot down by RPG fire in 2004 in Iraq, forcing her to undergo two years of intense rehabilitation before enlisting. in politics within the Democratic Party, not without having received the prestigious Purple Heart. After getting involved in the Obama administration to support the cause of veterans, she was elected in 2011 to the House of Representatives for the state of Illinois, before being elected senator for the state in 2016. Very popular within the armed forces, she was for a time approached for the vice-presidency of Joe Biden, before he chose Kamala Harris for this position.

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2 Chinese Su-35 participated in the May 30 mission around Taiwan

More than usual, the air force deployed by Beijing to protest against the visit of the US Senator was made up of many different models: 2 KJ-500s for early air warning, 4 Y-8s for electronic intelligence, a Y -8 for electronic warfare, a Y-8 for maritime patrol as well as a fleet of 14 fighters made up of 6 J-16s, 4 J-10s, 2 Su-30s and, more rarely, 2 Su-35s . Note, however, the absence of H-6 long-range heavy bombers, but also of air-to-air refueling aircraft, a capability that is still embryonic although rapidly developing within the air forces of the People's Army of Release. Beyond the purely symbolic aspect, moving such diverse aircraft and such different capabilities together may seem more like an aerial parade exercise than a demonstration of military force. However, as often with China, the motivations and objectives linked to these air missions around Taiwan are much more complex and rich than perceived at first glance.

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