Chinese air force planes, including 12 fighter planes, entered Taiwan’s air defense zone for a second day on Sunday, Taiwan said as tensions rose near the island just days after the new administration of US President Joe Biden began.
China regards the democratically ruled Taiwan as its own territory and has increased military activity near the island in recent months.
However, China’s weekend activities are a sign that fighters and bombers are being deployed rather than reconnaissance planes, as has generally been the case in recent weeks.
After eight Chinese bomber planes and four fighter jets flew into Taiwan’s defense zone between mainland Taiwan and the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands in the South China Sea on Saturday, another 15 flew into the same airspace on Sunday, Taiwan said.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense said China sent six J-10 fighters, four J-16s, two SU-30s, one Y-8 reconnaissance aircraft and two Y-8 anti-submarine aircraft.
Taiwan’s Air Force has been sent in to respond, she added.
“Airborne alarms were mandated, radio warnings issued and anti-aircraft missile systems deployed to monitor activity,” the ministry said.
China has not yet commented. It has already been said that such actions are aimed at defending the country’s sovereignty and serve as a warning against “collusion” between the United States and Taiwan.
The move is likely to affect Washington, which on Saturday called on China to stop pressure on Taiwan and reaffirmed its commitment to the island and its desire to deepen ties.
Earlier on Sunday the US military had announced that a US aircraft carrier group led by the USS Theodore Roosevelt had entered the controversial South China Sea to promote “freedom of the seas”.
Biden was only sworn into office on Wednesday. His government says his commitment to Taiwan is “absolutely solid”.
The United States, like most countries, does not have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but is required by law to provide the island with the means of self-defense.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)