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DEFENSE/9 Chinese military aircraft cross median line: Taiwan defense ministry

02/14/2024 06:58 PM
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A J-16 fighter jet. Photo courtesy of Ministry of National Defense
A J-16 fighter jet. Photo courtesy of Ministry of National Defense

Taipei, Feb. 14 (CNA) A total of 14 warplanes and drones sent by the Chinese People's Liberation Army were detected in waters near Taiwan on Wednesday afternoon, with nine of them crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait, according to Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND).

The 14 aircraft dispatched by the Chinese military starting at 1 p.m. included Shenyang J-16 fighter jets, Shaanxi Y-8 transport aircraft, and unmanned aerial vehicles, the MND said.

Among them, nine crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait and entered Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) off the north and southwest of the country in tandem with patrolling activities carried out by Chinese military vessels in the areas, the MND said.

The MND said that it had monitored the situation closely and "employed appropriate forces," such as scrambling fighter jets, dispatching military vessels, and readying coastal missile systems.

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 early August 2022.

Since the beginning of 2024, Beijing has also begun sending balloons over Taiwan, according to the MND.

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 Teng Pei-ju)

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