Whatever Taiwan decides to do, China just keeps trying to sabotage its sovereignty. China’s inability to accept the reality that Taiwan has gone its own way has led it to continue pulling crazy stalker stunts and inviting its friends to fly over to get the Taiwanese to take notice. This time, however, China sent them en masse.
With as many as 30 aircraft flying near the tiny nation, China is doing everything it can to keep Taiwan on its guard and also to test its reaction time. These types of activities have been increasing steadily over the past two years, but this is the largest to this point. These actions have been focused on zones of air defense (ADIZ) located close to Taiwan's controlled Pratas Islands.
The latest attack was a success, with 22 Chinese fighter aircraft taking to the skies and China also sending out early warnings and initiating an electronic attack against Taiwan. Anti-submarine aircraft were also launched but in much smaller numbers. The last time Taiwan was hit by an attack similar to this was on January 23, when China supplied 39 military aircraft to ADIZ.
China has, in turn, claimed that the threats are carried out in order to provide a “solemn warning” against the “collusion” between Taiwan and the United States. Since China refuses to recognize Taiwan as a separate nation and instead sees it as a part of mainland China, this creates an extremely challenging situation. The citizens of Taiwan have the right to feel secure and not always be in danger of losing everything to another country. However, China is pressing its assertions of sovereignty, which Taiwan has repeatedly rejected.
Taiwan is able to defend itself and has pledged to do so should China fire the first shot. While there is a lot of bluster, however, there is no real fighting between the two countries. Many are wondering when and if it will occur. China's actions under President Xi Jinping and his military show that just like when Russia attacked Ukraine, the Chinese president has been waiting to find the appropriate moment. Given that he's yet to penetrate Taiwan's airspace in a real way, the Chinese president may not be so confident about his capabilities.
The longer Xi Jinping and China continue to make provocations, the weaker they appear. Like the bully who continues to smack at the child's ear in class, eventually, the child will grow tired of the behavior. But unlike that child, Taiwan has many nations that have joined to make sure it is safe. From the US, Japan, and Australia to the majority of Europe, everyone is working to keep Taiwan secure.
President Xi Jinping might have doubts about this type of attack following the way in which Russia has been economically isolated. By comparing the history of Russia and Ukraine with that of China and Taiwan, it's easy to imagine how similar the global reaction would be. The main differences are the size and location of Taiwan. Being an island, transporting supplies and equipment to Taiwan's people will be much more difficult than it is in Ukraine—specifically, the Russians are able to easily target only a small portion of Ukraine. Taiwan is, however, an island that is susceptible to attack from all sides. Because of the US naval presence already there for Japan and, more recently, Ukraine, Taiwan is in an enviable position. However, they're not completely out of the woods yet. If all goes well, President Jinping is likely to come to awareness soon and meet with Taiwan, perhaps even using the US as a mediator. This is assuming President Joe Biden remains calm enough to allow for a meeting.