22 Chinese aircraft cross Taiwan Strait median line ahead of military drills

08/03/2022 11:23 PM
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A J-11 fighter jet. Photo courtesy of Ministry of National Defense
A J-11 fighter jet. Photo courtesy of Ministry of National Defense

Taipei, Aug. 3 (CNA) A total of 27 Chinese military aircraft flew into Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Wednesday, of which 22 crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait, according to the Ministry of National Defense (MND).

The incursions took place a day before China's military is set to launch live-fire military drills in six maritime areas near Taiwan, widely seen as retaliation for a visit by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan.

MND data showed six Shenyang J-11 and 16 Sukhoi SU-30 fighter jets flew across the median line of the Taiwan Strait, while five J-16 jets flew into the southwestern part of Taiwan's ADIZ.

The Chinese military also sent 21 aircraft into Taiwan's southwestern ADIZ on Tuesday, when Pelosi was set to arrive in Taiwan.

On both occasions, Taiwan scrambled a combat air patrol, sent radio warnings, and deployed defense missile systems to track the Chinese military planes, MND said.

Taiwan's defense ministry has published information about such flights since Sept. 17, 2020, amid a rising number of intrusions into the nation's ADIZ by Chinese military planes.

The highest number of incursions reported this year was 39 on Jan. 23, followed by 30 on May 30 and 29 on June 21, MND data showed.

An ADIZ is an area declared by a country to allow it to identify, locate and control approaching foreign aircraft, it is not part of territorial airspace as defined by international law.

(By Matt Yu and Y.F. Low)



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