China deployed 71 warplanes, including dozens of combat aircraft, to a military exercise near Taiwan over the weekend in one of the largest daily incursions to date, Taipei’s Defense Ministry said on Monday.
The People’s Liberation Army said it had conducted a “strike drill” on Sunday in response to unspecified “provocations” and “collusion” between the United States and the self-governing island.
The exercises are among the largest since they began publishing daily statistics, according to Taiwan’s defense ministry.
Taiwan tweeted that 60 fighter jets took part in the exercise, including six SU-30 fighter jets, some of which are China’s most advanced.
In addition, 47 aircraft crossed the island’s air defense zone, the third-highest number of daily incursions on record, according to an AFP database.
Taiwan has lived under constant threat of invasion by China, which claims the self-governing democratic island as part of its territory and will one day be occupied.
Under President Xi Jinping, Beijing has stepped up military, diplomatic and economic pressure on Taiwan as relations have soured.
China did not specify how many planes it had mobilized for Sunday’s drills, nor did it say exactly where those exercises would take place.
Taiwan’s daily tally shows that most incursions cross the “middle line” of the Taiwan Strait, which separates the two sides.
A small portion is located in Taiwan’s Southwest Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).
Many countries have ADIZs, including the United States, Canada, South Korea, Japan and China.
They are not the same as a country’s airspace.
Instead, they cover a wider range, requiring any foreign aircraft to declare itself to local aviation authorities.
Taiwan’s ADIZ is much larger than airspace. It overlaps with part of China’s air defense identification zone, and even includes parts of the mainland.
(Aside from the title, this story is unedited by NDTV staff and published via a syndicated feed.)
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