The incursion of Chinese planes into Taiwanese airspace marked the latest rise in tension after Taiwan complained for two years about repeated Chinese air force missions near the democratically ruled island
Image: via REUTERS)
Taiwan sent out warplanes to fend off Chinese planes after the biggest incursion into its air defense zone since January.
It comes amid heightened tensions, with Taiwan – which China claims as its own territory – reporting repeated missions by China’s Air Force near the democratically ruled island.
The “missions” often took place in the southwestern part of the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) near the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands.
Taiwan has called China’s repeated military activities nearby a “grey zone” war aimed both at wearing down Taiwan’s armed forces by repeatedly staggering them and testing Taiwan’s responses.
The latest Chinese mission included 22 warplanes, as well as electronic warfare aircraft, early warning and anti-submarine warfare aircraft, Taiwan’s ministry said.
Gallo images via Getty Images)
The plane was flying in an area northeast of Pratas, according to a ministry map.
Taiwan sent fighter jets to repel the Chinese planes while missile systems were used to monitor them, the ministry said.
It was the largest attack since Taiwan reported 39 Chinese planes in its ADIZ on Jan. 23.
There was no immediate comment from China, which has said in the past such moves are exercises to protect the country’s sovereignty.
China’s military said last week it recently held an exercise in Taiwan as a “solemn warning” of its “cooperation” with the United States.
This comes after US President Joe Biden angered China by apparently signaling a change in US policy of “strategic ambiguity” towards Taiwan.
The United States would intervene militarily should China attack the island, he said.
China has increased pressure on Taiwan to accept its claims to sovereignty.
Taiwan’s government says it wants peace but will defend itself if attacked.
No shots were fired and the Chinese planes were not flying in Taiwan’s airspace but in its ADIZ, a larger area that Taiwan monitors and patrols to give it more time to respond to threats.
Late last year, tensions between Taiwan and China appeared to be reaching a boiling point, with warnings that a full-scale invasion could occur by 2025.
On October 10, Taiwan celebrated its National Day, as it has observed on the 10th day of the 10th month every year for the past 110 years, to commemorate the Wuchang Uprising that put an end to the last imperial dynasty.
However, last year was a slightly more tense affair, falling amid the ongoing escalation of tensions with mainland China.
The national day came amid heightened aggression and rhetoric from both sides, with China flying warplanes too close to what Taiwan believed to be its airspace.
The situation is a product of over a century of history spanning the Chinese Civil War, World War II and the fall of Imperial China.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/taiwan-scrambles-fighter-jets-ward-27104689 Taiwan uses warplanes to repel Chinese planes in air defense zone - World News