Last Sunday morning, two Chinese J-11 fighters crossed the median and stayed on Taiwanese air space for about 10 minutes – even after Taiwanese interceptors were dispatched. Tsai Ing-wen, the President of Taiwan, defined the incursion by the PLA Air Force as "reckless and provocative."
And, ominously, demanded the "forceful expulsion" of Chinese fighter jets if it ever happened again. Well, that used to happen, quite frequently, but only up to 1999, when Beijing and Taipei clinched a deal to make them stop.
US mainstream media predictably spun this latest incursion as yet another Chinese provocation, omitting the essential background to what is only one more move in an extremely complex – and dangerous – geopolitical chessboard.
Taiwan has made an official request to buy more than 60 F-16 fighter jets from the US. And the Trump administration tacitly approved it. It works like this. Trump's advisers "encouraged" Taipei to make a formal request. They acted in tandem with Lockheed Martin, which builds the F-16s.