A squadron of 20 Chinese military aircraft flew by Taiwan and into its airspace, the defense ministry said, in the largest-ever incursion into the island nation’s territory, as tensions between Beijing and Taipei heat up.
The ministry said it warned the planes by radio, and deployed its missile systems to “monitor the activity,” after they were picked up in Taiwan’s defense identification zone.
In a statement released on Friday, it said it had “dispatched air patrol troops to respond, broadcast dismissal, and [deployed] anti-aircraft missile tracking and monitoring.”
Maps purported to show the group of aircraft flying through the Bashi Channel between Taiwan and the Philippines towards the Chinese mainland.
Also on rt.com
A spokesperson said four nuclear-capable H-6K bombers, 10 J-16 fighter jets and two Y-8 anti-submarine warfare planes were among the aircraft involved in the mission.
China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory, has not yet responded to the claims that it launched an offensive close to Taiwan.
Tension between the two nations has ramped up in recent weeks, amid other Chinese military activity in the region, including another flight close to Taiwan at the weekend.
In the face of such actions, Taiwanese Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said on Thursday that the country was developing long-range missiles capable of striking targets on the Chinese mainland.
Also on rt.com
Friday’s action also comes after Taiwan suspended all training missions of its F-5E fighter jets, after two of the aircraft collided off its southeast coast, killing one of the pilots, while another remains missing.
Earlier on Friday, the US and Taiwan established a coastguard working group in response to President Joe Biden’s pledge to make China “follow the rules” in relation to the South China Sea and other issues.
The move follows the recent passage of the Coastguard Law by China, allowing its coastguard to fire on foreign vessels.
Like this story? Share it with a friend!