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10 PLA aircraft cross Taiwan Strait median line: Defense ministry

05/02/2024 10:39 PM
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A Chinese KJ-500 military aircraft. File photo courtesy of Ministry of National Defense
A Chinese KJ-500 military aircraft. File photo courtesy of Ministry of National Defense

Taipei, May 2 (CNA) A total of 15 Chinese military aircraft and an unspecified number of naval ships were detected in areas around Taiwan on Thursday afternoon, with 10 warplanes and drones crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said.

Starting at 4 p.m., MND data showed sorties by Sukhoi SU-30, KJ-500 third-generation airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) planes and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) across the median line of the Taiwan Strait as a part of a joint military patrol exercise with Chinese naval vessels.

In various sorties, the 10 People's Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft crossed the median line, the unofficial border between Taiwan and China, into Taiwan's northern, central and southwestern air defense identification zone (ADIZ), the MND said.

The ministry said it scrambled combat air and naval patrols and deployed defense missile systems to track the Chinese military aircraft.

In addition, the MND said four Chinese military aircraft and four naval ships were detected in areas around Taiwan from 6 a.m. Wednesday to 6 a.m. Thursday.

All four of the warplanes crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait, the ministry added, crossing the median line and entering the north and southwest ADIZ, the MND said.

Taiwan's Defense Ministry has posted information about Chinese planes entering Taiwan's ADIZ since Sept. 17, 2020, amid the growing frequency of incursions by Chinese military aircraft.

China stepped up military maneuvers in early August, 2022, after U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan on Aug. 2-3, holding live-fire drills in six locations around the country.

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

(By Matt Yu and James Lo)

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