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17 PLA aircraft cross Taiwan Strait median line or extension: Ministry

04/20/2024 12:57 PM
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Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense. CNA file photo
Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense. CNA file photo

Taipei, April 20 (CNA) A total of 17 People's Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft were detected crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait or its extension on Saturday morning, according to Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND).

The aircraft dispatched by the Chinese military were spotted starting at 8:15 a.m. and included Shenyang J-16 fighter jets, Shaanxi Y-8 transport aircraft, and various types of unmanned aerial vehicles, the MND said.

According to the ministry, the 17 planes either crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait or entered Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) off the northern, central and southwestern parts of the country, in tandem with patrolling activities carried out by Chinese military vessels in the areas.

The MND said that it had monitored the situation closely and had "dispatched appropriate assets" to respond to the situation accordingly.

Prior to this, the defense ministry had earlier detected three PLA aircraft entering the median line or its extension in the 24-hour period starting from 6 a.m. Friday.

The median line of the Taiwan Strait served for decades as a tacit border, but the Chinese military has more flagrantly sent aircraft, warships, and drones across it since former United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in August 2022, becoming the highest-level U.S. official to visit in nearly three decades.

An ADIZ is a self-declared area in which a country claims the right to identify, locate, and control approaching foreign aircraft but is not part of its territorial airspace as defined by international law.

(By Henry Wu and Ko Lin)

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