The Taiwanese government said 71 Chinese air force aircraft, including fighter jets and drones, entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone in the past 24 hours, the largest recorded incursion to date. This is reported Reuters.
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43 Chinese aircraft crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait, an unofficial buffer zone between the two sides.
Taiwan’s official Central News Agency said it was the largest Chinese air force incursion to date.
China, which claims Taiwan as its territory, said it conducted “strike exercises” in the sea and airspace around Taiwan on Sunday in response to what it called a provocation from the island and the United States.
Taiwan said that with its exercises, Beijing is destroying peace in the region and is trying to intimidate the Taiwanese people.
A senior Taiwanese official told the news agency that Taiwan assessed that China had staged a military “provocation” to express anger at the new US defense budget, which included funds for increased military aid to Taiwan.
The official said that during the exercise, the Chinese air force carried out simulated attacks on Taiwanese and American warships.
Taiwan’s President’s office, Tsai Ing-wen, said she will convene a high-level national security meeting on Tuesday morning to discuss strengthening the island’s civil defense system, followed by a press conference on new civil defense measures.
The statement did not give details, but Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense said it was considering extending the mandatory military service.
According to the ministry, seven ships of the Chinese Navy were also found off the coast of Taiwan.
Taiwan sent an unspecified warplane to warn the Chinese planes while missile systems monitored their flight, the ministry said.
- On December 8, British Army Commander Admiral Tony Radakin said that Russia’s catastrophe in Ukraine could deter other potential aggressors, including China in the Taiwan issue.
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