The Taiwanese Defense Ministry said on Friday that China had flown 25 military planes in the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), which amounted to a large show of force on the Chinese National Day, which celebrates the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
Taiwanese defense officials said the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) flew 18 J-16 fighter jets, two H-6 bombers and other planes in ADIZ, which is an airspace that extends beyond Taiwan’s territorial airspace and is monitored for national security purposes.
Taiwan responded by deploying planes and tracking Chinese warplanes using air defense systems, the ministry said in a statement.
The map released by the ministry showed the planes flying near the island of Pratas, with both bombers flying near the adjacent atoll.
China has regularly sent fighter jets to Taiwan in recent years, as tensions between Taipei and Beijing increase.
Last week, in response to Taiwan’s efforts to join a regional trade group, the PLA flew 24 fighter jets to Taiwan.
In 2020, China made a record 380 forays into ADIZ, and so far this year China has done so more than 500 times.
China has increased the pressure since President Tsai Ing-wen, who said she sees Taiwan as “already independent”, was elected in 2016.
Earlier this week, the UK sent a warship to the Taiwan Strait for the first time since 2008. Beijing said the UK was showing “bad intentions to sabotage peace and stability.”
ar / wmr (AP, Reuters)