Chinese PLA sends 19 military planes to Taiwan air defense zone, Taipei sends jets to counter

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Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said 19 Chinese military planes, including nuclear-capable fighters and bombers, entered its Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) on Sunday.

Taipei has been complaining for more than a year about repeated Chinese Air Force missions near the island. China regards democratic Taiwan as a separatist province, but Taiwan considers itself a sovereign state. Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said Sunday’s Chinese Air Force mission involved four H-6 bombers, capable of carrying nuclear weapons, as well as an anti-submarine aircraft. Taiwan has deployed missile systems and sent fighter jets to ward off Chinese planes, the ministry added.

Taiwan’s defense ministry last week warned that the Chinese armed forces could “cripple” Taiwan’s defenses and that the Chinese threat is growing. It’s unclear what prompted China to launch its plane this time around, but China has described its activities as necessary to protect the country’s sovereignty and deal with “collusion” between Taipei and Washington.

State media quoting analysts from mainland China said it was part of a routine exercise, which showed the unwavering power gap between the PLA and the armed forces on the island despite the Taiwan’s recent military spending proposal targeting the PLA. Beijing often launches such missions to express its dissatisfaction with the comments made by Taiwan. In June, it sent 28 military planes to ADIZ – the largest incursion reported by Taiwan to date. On January 24, a similar mission saw 15 planes enter Taiwan’s air defense zone while on April 12, Taiwan reported 25 jets.

ANSHUMAN MISHRA / BEIJING / 6-09-2021


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