Seventy-one Chinese air force aircraft including fighter jets and drones entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone in the past 24 hours, the island’s government said on Monday, the largest reported incursion to date.
Of the aircraft, 43 also crossed the Taiwan Strait’s median line, an unofficial buffer between the two sides that lies within the defense zone, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said in a report, as Beijing continues military activities close to the Chinese-claimed island.
The White House said the United States was concerned by China’s military activity near Taiwan, which it called “provocative” and “destabilizing,” adding that it risked miscalculations and undermined regional stability.
Taiwan’s official Central News Agency said it was the largest Chinese air force incursion to date, although there was no sense of alarm on the island, which has witnessed a steady increase in Chinese pressure in recent years.
China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory, said it had conducted “strike drills” in the sea and airspace around Taiwan on Sunday in response to what it said was provocation from the democratically governed island and the United States.
Taiwan, which strongly rejects China’s sovereignty claims, said the drills showed Beijing was destroying regional peace and trying to intimidate Taiwan’s people.
The office of Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said Tsai will call a high-level national security meeting on Tuesday morning to discuss reinforcing the island’s civil defense system, followed by a press conference on new civil defense measures.
The statement gave no details, but the defense ministry has said it was considering extending compulsory military service beyond four months, as the war in Ukraine and rising tensions with Beijing renewed discussion about how to respond to Chinese military pressure.
“The more preparations we make, the less likely there will be rash attempts of aggression. The more united we are, the stronger and safer Taiwan would become,” Tsai told a military ceremony on Monday.
During the latest incursion, several Chinese planes, mostly fighter jets, briefly crossed the median line in the sensitive Taiwan Strait before returning to China, according to a map provided by Taiwan’s defense ministry. Seven Chinese navy ships were also detected near Taiwan, the ministry said.
China’s military also sent early warning, electronic-warfare and antisubmarine aircraft, as well as drones, into Taiwan’s southern air defense identification zone, or ADIZ, according to the report, which detailed Chinese activities near Taiwan over the 24 hours to 6 a.m. (2200 GMT on Sunday).
Taipei has complained of repeated missions by the Chinese air force over the last two years, often in southern areas of its ADIZ.
Taiwan sent unspecified combat aircraft to warn away the Chinese planes, while missile systems monitored their flight, the ministry said, using standard wording for its response.
China has stepped up its diplomatic, military and economic pressure in recent years on the self-governed island to accept Beijing’s rule. Taiwan’s government says it wants peace but will defend itself if attacked.
View more on Youtube Taiwan reports incursion of 39 Chinese aircraft in its air defense zone
中군용기 39대 대만 방공식별구역 진입…10월이래 최대 무력시위
Taiwan is reporting new large-scale incursion by China’s Air Force into its air defense zone,… escalating tensions in the Taiwan Strait.
The island’s defense ministry said on Sunday that 39 Chinese aircraft including fighter jets and a bomber entered its air defense identification zone.
Taiwan’s military scrambled jets, issued radio warnings, and deployed its air defense missile systems to monitor the fleet’s activities.
It’s the largest incursion sent by Beijing since October 2021.
The incident marks the latest in a series of what Taipei calls “gray zone” warfare designed to both wear out Taiwan’s forces by making them repeatedly scramble,… and also to test Taiwan’s response.
#Taiwan #Chinese_aircraft #air_defense_identification_zone
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2022-01-24, 08:00 (KST)