Grounded Taiwan Planes Leave Them Vulnerable; China Ceases Opportunity

ChenHao_Kuo /

On the morning of Marth 14th, Taiwan found itself getting a double dose of bad news. Not only did they have to ground numerous aircraft following the crash of one while conducting a training mission, but they found their airspace being invaded. While the invasions of Chinese fighter jets are not uncommon, the timing was incredibly bad with these downed planes.

With 13 aircraft taking the sky and going into Taiwan’s airspace, this was a major problem for the small country. While other units and planes were still available, the loss of their Taiwanese Mirage 2000 jets was a devastating blow to their national defense. In this training accident, one jet reported mechanical issues and was forced to turn back for base. While en route the plane began to get worse and forced the pilot to eject into the ocean. A rescue helicopter was quickly dispatched, and the pilot was fine.

However, this meant that all planes needed to be grounded and checked for mechanical issues as well. They needed to know how bad the damage might have been and how deep the issues went. China used this downtime to stir the pot and instill further feat in the people of Taiwan. As China has yet to rule out using its military in a takeover of the country, the Taiwanese government is incredibly protective of its airspace.

As a part of that protection, the Taiwanese Ministry of National Defense issues tweets when their airspace is violated. Since the last big operation by China in January they have recorded daily activity within their airspace. With a typical count of one to nine aircraft entering their airspace a day, these tweets are incredibly important. There is no telling if, when, and how China will make its move to take Taiwan back.

January as a whole was a bad month for Taiwan, as they lost a piolet and plane during a training mission as they both crashed into the sea. This also forced the grounding of planes, and it was at this time that China again capitalized and sent 30 planes into Taiwan’s airspace. While there hasn’t been direct conflict between China and Taiwan in the air, consistent posturing from China does not go unnoticed or unchecked.

China and Russia now have a pact to assist one another however they can, and before the conflict in Ukraine, this would have been considered to be a horrific thing for the world to see. As Ukraine is proving Putin’s military has little to no resolve, and they aren’t as well trained as Putin’s propaganda clips would have people believe.

On the other hand, China has a standing million-man army and is largely untested since Vietnam. This lack of battle practice leaves them incredibly vulnerable to being overrun as well. However, as many Chinese proverbs and tales show, a sleeping dragon can quickly be awakened and ready to go at a moment’s notice. These two could easily and rapidly join forces to create a massive conflict in both Taiwan and ramp up the efforts in Ukraine. China has also made various promises to escalate things quickly and thoroughly if provoked.

They also have North Korea on their side. The seemingly little brother to China, their economy is held together by hopes, dreams, and money from China to buy their coal. That money however has dried up at points as China moves towards other energy sources to sustain itself. To gain back business deals with China, NK might be very receptive to being the bad guy and launching missiles towards Taiwan, or the US should we dare get involved directly against China or Russia.

Taiwan holds special importance for many nations. Japan, Australia, Canada, the US, and many others make heavy use of their ports and airstrips. Despite being a rather small nation, the loss of their freedom would make a huge economic impact across the globe.