TAIPEI (TAIWAN) – The Defence Ministry of Taiwan has reported that it’s air force deployed missiles to “monitor” an incursion of eight Chinese bomber planes and four fighter jets which entered the southwestern corner of Taiwan’s air defence identification zone on Saturday.
China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory, has conducted almost daily flights over the waters between the southern part of Taiwan and the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands in the South China Sea in recent months.
While such flights generally consist of just one or two reconnaissance aircraft, the presence of so many Chinese combat aircraft on this mission is unusual as Taiwan said it was made up of eight nuclear-capable H-6K bombers and four J-16 fighter jets .
A map provided by Taiwan’s Defence Ministry showed that the Chinese aircraft, which also included a Y-8 anti-submarine aircraft, flew over the same waters where the most recent Chinese missions have been taking place near the Pratas Islands.
“Airborne alert sorties had been tasked, radio warnings issued and air defence missile systems deployed to monitor the activity,” it said in a brief statement.
The flight by the Chinese bombers and fighters on Saturday came just days after Joe Biden assumed the US presidency. Beijing has watched with growing concern increasing US support for democratic Taiwan.