Taipei – 28 Chinese Air Force aircraft, including fighter jets and nuclear-capable bombers, entered Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) on Tuesday, the island’s government said, the largest incident reported to date.
Although there was no immediate comment from Beijing, the news comes after the leaders of the Group of Seven issued a joint statement on Sunday scolding China for a number of issues and underscoring the importance of cross-strait peace and stability, comments on China condemned as “defamation” “.
China-alleged Taiwan has complained in recent months of repeated missions by the Chinese Air Force near the self-governing island, which is concentrated in the southwestern portion of its air defense zone near the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands.
The latest Chinese mission involved 14 J-16 and six J-11 fighters, as well as four H-6 bombers, which can carry nuclear weapons and submarine, electronic warfare and early warning aircraft, the Taiwanese Defense Ministry said.
It was the largest daily attack since the ministry began reporting regularly on Chinese Air Force activities in Taiwan’s ADIZ last year, breaking the previous record of 25 aircraft dropped on Jan.
The ministry added that Taiwanese fighter jets were deployed to intercept and warn the Chinese planes, while missile systems were also deployed to monitor them.
Not only did the Chinese planes fly in an area near the Pratas Islands, but the bombers and some of the fighters also flew around the southern part of Taiwan near the lower tip of the island, according to a map from the ministry.
China’s Defense Ministry did not respond to a request for comment.
China has described such missions in the past as necessary to protect the country’s sovereignty and to deal with “collusions” between Taipei and Washington.
The United States, which like most countries does not have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, has watched with concern the heightened tensions with Beijing.
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“In response to the growing threat from the PRC, we will continue to deepen our informal security ties to ensure Taiwan has adequate self-defense capabilities,” a senior US government official told Reuters, referring to the People’s Republic of China .
A Pentagon spokesman added that China’s “increasing military activity near Taiwan is destabilizing and increasing the risk of misjudgment.”
China calls Taiwan its most delicate territorial problem and a red line that the US should not cross. She never renounced the possible use of force to ensure eventual unification.