38 Chinese military planes enter Taiwan's ADIZ Friday, setting a record

10/02/2021 12:52 PM
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Image taken from mnd.gov.tw
Image taken from mnd.gov.tw

Taipei, Oct. 2 (CNA) A total of 38 Chinese military aircraft flew into Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Friday, the highest-number in a single day since Taiwan began issuing a tally of such actions in September 2020, according to the Ministry of National Defense (MND).

The military maneuver is the latest sign of increasing tensions between Beijing and Taipei and is part of what has become daily occurrences near Taiwan's airspace.

The Chinese airplanes entries also coincided with the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on Oct. 1.

On Friday evening, the MND reported 25 Chinese planes entering the southeastern part of the ADIZ and the planes comprise 18 J-16 fighter jets, four SU-30 fighters, two H-6 bombers, and one Y-8 anti-submarine warfare plane.

All of the aircraft were spotted between Taiwan and the Taiwanese-held Pratas Islands southwest of the main island, a chart in the report showed.

Late Friday night, the MND reported another 13 Chinese aircraft flying into the southwestern part of Taiwan's ADIZ again, and the planes were 10 J-16 fighter jets, two H-6 bombers, and one KJ-500, which is a third-generation airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft.

The 10 J-16 fighters and the two H-6 bombers entered Taiwan's ADIZ from the coast of China's Fujian and Guangdong provinces before flying over the Bashi Channel and returning to China, while the KJ-500 entered Taiwan's ADIZ from Guangdong's coast and then returned to China, a chart released by the report showed.

These Chinese military aircraft were also spotted between Taiwan and the Pratas Islands, according to the ministry's chart.

That airspace is considered by Taiwan to be part of its ADIZ, an area declared by a country for the purpose of identifying, locating and controlling approaching foreign aircraft, but such zones are not considered territorial airspace.

In response, Taiwan's Air Force scrambled planes to monitor the Chinese aircraft, issuing radio warnings, and mobilizing air defense assets, the ministry said.

Before Friday's incursion, the second highest number of Chinese military planes to enter Taiwan's ADIZ in a single day since the ministry started making public such movements on Sept. 17, 2020 was 28 on June 15 this year, two days after the Group of Seven (G7) highlighted the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

Commenting on the record high number of Chinese military aircraft entering Taiwan's ADIZ in one single day, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said on Saturday that China has conducted a wide range of behaviors to bully Taiwan, but its actions have been renounced by more and more countries in the world.

Su cited the unilateral decision by the International Association for the Development of Apnea (AIDA) to remove Taiwan's flag during a live feed display on Tuesday as another example, saying there were 10 countries voicing their support to Taiwan against the decision of the AIDA, the world's largest organizer of free-diving competitions.

On Thursday, the AIDA apologized to Taiwan for its decision to remove the country's flag during the live streaming of competition at the world championship held in Cyprus, where Taiwan had five competitors. The AIDA said the move to remove Taiwan's flag was because of a complaint from China's official broadcaster.

(By Chung Yu-chen, Lai Yu-chen and Frances Huang)

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