Taiwan’s Air Force opposed renewed Chinese military activity on Sunday. The Department of Defense reported that 19 aircraft, including nuclear-capable bombers, had flown in Taiwan’s air defense identification zone.
The Chinese alleged Taiwan has been complaining about repeated missions by the Chinese Air Force near the self-governing island, often in the southwestern portion of its air defense zone near the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands, for a year or more.
The latest Chinese mission involved ten J-16 and four Su-30 fighters, as well as four H-6 bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons and one anti-submarine aircraft, the Taiwanese Defense Ministry said.
Taiwanese fighter jets were deployed to warn the Chinese planes while missile systems were deployed to monitor them, the ministry said.
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The Chinese plane was flying in an area closer to the Chinese coast than the Taiwanese coast, roughly northeast of Pratas, according to a map from the Taiwanese Ministry of Defense.
There was no immediate response from China.
The last large-scale operation on June 15 affected 28 Chinese Air Force aircraft Largest burglary reported by Taiwan to date.
China often holds such missions to express its displeasure with Taiwan’s actions or international support for the democratically ruled island, particularly from the US, Taiwan’s main arms supplier.
It was not clear what caused China to start its planes this time around. although a US warship and a US Coast Guard cutter sailed the cross strait late last month.
China has described its activities as necessary to protect the country’s sovereignty and to deal with “collusions” between Taipei and Washington.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense warned last week that the threat from China was mounting, saying China’s armed forces could “cripple” Taiwan’s defenses and be able to fully monitor its operations.