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Opinion

Why China is intensifying its military flights against Taiwan

Main goal is to convince Taipei to quit defending itself

| Taiwan
A Chinese bomber flies near the Taiwan air defense identification zone in September 2020: China seeks to establish a new normal for Taiwan. (Handout photo from Taiwan Ministry of National Defense)   © AP

Derek Grossman is a senior defense analyst at the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corp. He formerly served as an intelligence adviser at the Pentagon.

On Jan. 23, China repeated its familiar pattern of sending warplanes into Taiwan's air defense identification zone -- in this case, 39 advanced air assets including fighter jets, nuclear-capable bombers and surveillance and transport aircraft.

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