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Taiwan says 19 Chinese warplanes entered air defence zone

Taiwan says 19 Chinese warplanes entered air defence zone thumbnail

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image captionSunday’s mission involved 10 J-16 and four Su-30 fighters, as well as four H-6 bombers and an anti-submarine aircraft

Taiwan has said a large incursion of Chinese military jets flew into its air defence zone on Sunday.

The defence ministry said 19 aircraft including fighters and nuclear-capable bombers entered its so-called air defence identification zone (ADIZ).

Taipei has been complaining for more than a year about repeated missions by China’s air force near the island.

China sees democratic Taiwan as a breakaway province, but Taiwan sees itself as a sovereign state.

Taiwan’s defence ministry said Sunday’s mission by the Chinese air force involved four H-6 bombers which can carry nuclear weapons as well as an anti-submarine aircraft.

The ministry released a map showing a flight path northeast of the Pratas, closer to the Chinese coast than the Taiwanese coast.

Missile systems were deployed and combat aircraft was dispatched to warn away the Chinese planes, the ministry added.

China has not yet officially commented.

Beijing often launches such missions to express displeasure at comments made by Taiwan.

In June, it sent 18 military jets into the ADIZ – the largest incursion reported by Taiwan to date.

It is not clear what prompted the latest mission.

However, last week Taiwan’s defence ministry warned that China’s armed forces could “paralyse” Taiwan’s defences and that the Chinese threat is growing.

China and Taiwan: The basics

  • China and Taiwan have had separate governments since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949. Beijing has long tried to limit Taiwan’s international activities and both have vied for influence in the Pacific region
  • Tensions have increased in recent years and Beijing has not ruled out the use of force to take the island back
  • Although Taiwan is officially recognised by only a handful of nations, its democratically elected government has strong commercial and informal links with many countries
  • Like most nations, the US has no official diplomatic ties with Taiwan, but a US law does require it to provide the island with the means to defend itself

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