China Deploys 14 Nuclear Bomber Planes

( )- Last Tuesday, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense reported that China’s People’s Liberation Army sent 18 nuclear-capable bombers into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) during the previous 24 hours, a record number of bomber sorties in a single day.

According to the Taiwanese military, the H-6 bombers were accompanied by a Y-8 propeller transport aircraft designed for anti-submarine warfare, another Y-8 for reconnaissance, and a J-11 air superiority fighter.

Three surface warships and another eight military aircraft were also detected in the area.

The H-6K strategic bombers can carry up to six cruise missiles with nuclear warheads. In October, China claimed that its H-6 bombers are now capable of carrying hypersonic cruise missiles as well.

Taiwan’s defense ministry said it monitored the situation, employing fighter jets as well as land-based missile systems to track the Chinese planes.

Last Tuesday’s flights represent the largest number of H-6 sorties in a 24-hour period since Taiwan began releasing daily data on Chinese incursions into the ADIZ in 2020.

The Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) is distinct from sovereign airspace, which is defined under international law as extending 12 nautical miles from a country’s shoreline.

Last week’s sorties coincided with a visit to Taiwan by Hagiuda Koichi, a Japanese politician from the country’s governing party. Hagiuda, a close ally of the late Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, is one of the most senior Japanese officials to visit Taiwan in recent years.

Tensions between China and Taiwan have increased significantly this year. When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led a congressional delegation to Taiwan in August, China unleashed a flurry of military exercises in the Taiwan Strait.

Since then, Beijing has increased its military pressure tactics against Taiwan.

The ruling Chinese Communist Party views Taiwan as part of its territory, despite never having controlled the democratically-governed island. Beijing has vowed to “reunify” Taiwan with the Chinese mainland by force if necessary.