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DEFENSE/26 PLA aircraft cross Taiwan Strait median line or extension: Ministry

05/15/2024 04:54 PM
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Taipei, May 15 (CNA) A total of 26 People's Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait or its extension in the 24-hour period starting at 6 a.m. Tuesday, Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense said Wednesday.

Of those Chinese aircraft, 20 crossed the median line, while six crossed the extension and entered Taiwan's southwestern air defense identification zone (ADIZ). Both groups contained an unspecified number of jets and drones, flight paths and information released by the ministry showed.

Some of the aircraft flew as close as 41 nautical miles (75.93 kilometers) from the northern city of Keelung, the information showed.

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.

In total, 45 PLA aircraft were detected in Taiwan's vicinity during the same period, while six PLA Navy vessels were also operating in waters around the country, the defense ministry said.

The ministry said it deployed combat air patrol aircraft, Navy vessels and coastal missile defense systems in response.

The ministry discontinued its practice of identifying the types of PLA aircraft detected in Taiwan's ADIZ on Jan. 16.

The incursions Tuesday were one of the largest by PLA aircraft in recent months and come just days before the inauguration of President-elect Lai Ching-te (賴清德) on May 20.

(By Wu Shu-wen and Matthew Mazzetta)

Enditem/AW

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