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China Prods Taiwan with 103 Aircraft and 9 Vessels

A few days ago, lamestream media reported that 68 Chinese military aircraft and 10 vessels were hanging around Taiwan.

China sends at least a few planes and ships to near Taiwan on a daily basis anyway. Even 10+ aircraft is not uncommon, but the numbers in recent days are definitely higher than usual. One can check out Taiwanese reports themselves or see the list below.

This is not surprising, considering that the Biden administration has in effect said that apart from some arms sales they will not do much about Taiwan without actually saying it. Also keep in mind that a lot of money, weapons and ammo have gone to Ukraine anyway; either to get blown up or we don’t know where it has really gone.

Yesterday/Today, 103 PLA aircraft and 9 PLAN vessels were reported. From the image provided by the Taiwanese Ministry of National Defense (MND), one can see the aircraft type and their flight path.

  • September 9–10: 8 PLA aircraft and 8 PLAN vessels

  • September 10–11: 26 PLA aircraft and 13 PLAN vessels

  • September 11–12: 22 PLA aircraft and 20 PLAN vessels

  • September 12–13: 27 PLA aircraft and 13 PLAN vessels

  • September 13–14: 68 PLA aircraft and 10 PLAN vessels

  • September 14–15: 18 PLA aircraft and 14 PLAN vessels

  • September 15–16: 9 PLA aircraft and 10 PLAN vessels

  • September 16–17: 8 PLA aircraft and 6 PLAN vessels

  • September 17–18: 103 PLA aircraft and 9 PLAN vessels

17–18 September 2023 (Taiwan MND)
17–18 September 2023 (Taiwan MND)

As for an actual assault on Taiwan, who knows? On paper, China obviously has numerical superiority. But one cannot dismiss whatever Taiwan has. There are also obvious logistical challenges for both sides.

Then there is a strait between the two. Some commentators say that China can only invade in late October and April due to weather. The monsoon season is certainly a consideration and obviously makes that sort of operation difficult, but that view is over-simplistic. According to the article titled “How China Might Invade Taiwan” by P.M. Wood and C.D. Ferguson that was published in the Naval War College Review in 2001:

The Chinese would also have to contend with two monsoon seasons, from August to September and from November to April; it would be restricted to two “windows” of attack, from May to July and the month of October. Still, such impediments did not thwart U.S. amphibious forces at Inchon during the Korean War; nor did coral reefs and an extremely low tide prevent the seizure of Tarawa in World War II.

As for the “why”… well, both China and Taiwan have their share of corruption and deep state issues. It is unclear to me at least who’s who right now and doing what exactly.


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