LIVE from China: Taiwan scrambles jets after Beijing is accused of deploying 52 planes into its airspace.
TAIWAN’S air force scrambled once more on Monday to scare away 52 Chinese aircraft that had crossed its air defense zone, according to Taiwan’s defence ministry, the highest number disclosed by Taipei to far and the fourth day of Chinese incursions.
Chinese-claimed For a year or more, Taiwan has complained about Chinese air force operations near the democratically administered island, particularly in the southern area of its air defense zone, close to the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands. However, since Friday, when China celebrated its national day, the country has ramped up its missions dramatically, with around 150 aircraft flying into the defense zone in only four days.
According to a map provided by the ministry, the last mission featured 34 J-16 fighters and 12 nuclear-capable H-6 bombers, all of which flew in an area near the Pratas Islands.
Taiwanese fighter fighters raced to warn Chinese planes away, while missile systems were deployed to keep an eye on them, according to the report.
The US urged China to end its “provocative” military exercises near Taiwan on Sunday, as the island’s government criticised Beijing as well.
Following reports that 52 Chinese aircraft had infiltrated Taiwan’s air defense zone, the US Department of Defense has issued a statement.
THE UNITED STATES DEFENSE DEPARTMENT SAYS CHINA’S INCREASING MILITARY ACTIVITIES NEAR TAIWAN ARE DESTABILIZING AND INCREASE THE RISK OF MISCALCULATION.
Late last month, the USS Ronald Reagan entered the South China Sea. The Japanese defense ministry announced on Monday that the ship, along with another carrier, the USS Carl Vinson, had conducted multinational joint drills in waters southwest of Okinawa, though it did not specify the location.
Okinawa, located northeast of Taiwan, is home to a large US military facility.
The commencement of China’s efforts could possibly be scheduled as “intimidation” before of Japan’s unveiling of its cabinet under new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, according to the source. On Monday, Kishida revealed his Cabinet.
A representative from Japan’s defense ministry declined to comment.
A Taiwan-based source familiar with regional security issues told Reuters earlier on Monday that Chinese planes were probably performing simulated attacks on US carrier fleets, drills that China has repeated near Taiwan in recent months, according to the source.