Taiwan reports second day of large chinese incursion into its air defense zone

Taiwan military accuses China of entering its airspace
Image: Taiwan Ministry of Defense

Taiwan reported large-scale Chinese air force incursions within its air defense identification zone for a second day on Thursday. The island’s defense minister said that 21 Chinese aircraft were seen in the zone over the course of 24 hours.

Taiwan has been at the center of escalating tensions between China and the United States over the last few years. China asserts sovereignty over the island

China asserts that it is acting in self-defense to avert a danger to its territory. It also claims its trying to dissuade the United States from “colluding” with Taiwan.

According to a map released by Taiwan’s defense ministry, 19 fighter planes were seen flying in the direction of the southwest corner of Taiwan’s air defense identification zone.

Taiwan military releases flight information of the PLA jets
Image: Taiwan Ministry of Defense

The graphic demonstrated that the J-10s, a type that entered service twenty years ago, flew closer to the Chinese coast. However the J-16s, flew northeast of the Pratas Islands, which are under Taiwan’s jurisdiction.

Pratas is located near the head of the South China Sea, making it a frequent target for Chinese reconnaissance flights.

Standard wording for Taiwan’s response to such Chinese incursions said that the island’s military forces were monitoring the situation.

Chinese planes fly almost daily

While China’s air force has flown almost daily across the Taiwan Strait since August, when it conducted military exercises near Taiwan, none of the aircraft have crossed the median line, which has served as an unofficial barrier between the two sides.

Taiwan said on Friday that ten Chinese planes had infringed the median line.

China has been mute over recent developments in Taiwan’s vicinity. In January, China conducted military exercises near Taiwan. It claimed it was to “resolutely reject the hostile acts of foreign countries and Taiwan independence separatist forces,”

No gunfire have been recorded, and the Chinese aircraft are in Taiwan’s air defense identification zone but not its airspace.

Since the ADIZ covers a bigger area, Taiwan has more time to respond to possible attacks.

The democratically elected Taiwanese administration has repeatedly sought talks with China. It has however made it clear that Taiwan would defend itself if attacked.

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