Chen Tzu-yu, deputy director of Taiwan’s Statebuilding Party News Department, China has gotten more subtle in its efforts to disturb Taiwan by roaming through gray zones and utilizing the method of boiling frogs to reduce Taiwan’s vigilance, according to Chinese-language media Da Ji Yuan.

Recently, Chinese civil aircraft have flown over Matsu Islands, and Chinese military jets intruded into the airspace of Dongsha Island. Vincent Chao, director of the political division at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States, said that China is attempting to normalize military actions, weaken Taiwan’s defense of its sovereignty and air defense identification zone, and assert its adherence to its “one China” policy.

Vincent Chao said that many scholars believed that the Chinese regime would not conduct military provocations during the Olympics. However, it was still conducting military drills against Taiwan during these days.

  • Vincent Chao said there were two reasons for the location and timing chosen by Beijing:
    Firstly, it hoped to normalize military behavior and even weaken Taiwan’s perception and defense of its sovereignty and air defense identification zone
  • Second, it continued to declare to the international community that it would not change its adherence to the “One-China policy” even in the face of global events or other international activities

On the other hand, Chen Tzu-yu pointed out that the Chinese civil transport aircraft crossing the East China Sea was not just a simple intrusion, not like the case of a Chinese fishing boat poaching in waters near the Taiwan-held Penghu Islands in 2021.

The greenlighting of fishing boats for this type of intrusion might have the tacit approval of Chinese authorities behind the scenes. In addition to achieving the purpose of harassing Taiwan, China might want to use civilians to disguise its military action.

He believes that Chinese military fighters have been disturbing Taiwan daily, and the effect of intimidation is becoming less and less effective. Even if Taiwan protests, China can explain that the plane is a civilian cargo plane with nothing to do with the military.

In response to Chinese civil aircraft flying into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone, Chen Tzu-yu told Da Ji Yuan that there is a principle of “not firing the first shot” in international law.

When China used civil aircraft for harassment, he suggested that Taiwan consider replacing the fighter jets with civil aircraft or drones to warn, drive away, or monitor the Chinese civil plane. In the same way, the Taiwan Coast Guard drove away Chinese fishing boats in the sea. Chen Tzu-yu said that this prevents China from having propaganda opportunities.

Vincent Chao pointed out that whether military or civilian aircraft fly into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone, the military has standard operating procedures to deal with them. He stressed that the defense of the outer islands is essential to Taiwan. Therefore, Taiwan’s military should consider responding to the many provocations from China’s communist planes while maintaining its existing combat capabilities.

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