Thirteen Chinese military warplanes on Friday entered the Taiwan Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the southern part of the island as a part of Beijing's long series of pressure-building incursions on the self-ruled island. Taiwan scrambled to combat the air patrol, sending radio warnings and deploying air defence missile systems to track the Chinese fleet, ANI reported. The said infringement came after Nicaragua on Friday severed ties with Taiwan to establish diplomatic relations with China.
The 13 aircraft that entered Taiwan's ADIZ, included a sortie of two H-6 bombers and a Y-8 electronic warfare plane. The warcraft infringed deep into southeastern ADIZ, Focus Taiwan reported, citing Taiwan Defence Ministry. Among the other 10 aircraft were a Y-8 anti-submarine, a KJ-500 third-generation airborne early warning and control plane (AEW&C), six J-16, and two Chengdu J-10 fighter jets. There have been several such intrusions by Chinese planes into Taiwan ADIZ since September 17 last year, with most occurring in the southwest corner.
As of November 28, around 27 Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan's buffer zone, the Associated Press reported, citing Taiwan Defence Ministry. The fleet included 18 fighter jets and five H-6 bombers and a Y-20 aerial refuelling aircraft. The incident recorded a spike in intrusions, with about 150 aircrafts entering Taiwan air space in a span of four days. The infringements, as reported by Taiwan Focus, are generally using slow-flying turboprop planes which the Chinese own.
Earlier in October, a total of 38 army planes of the People's Republic of China (PRC) entered Taiwan ADIZ in two separate sortie missions. As per Taiwan Defence Ministry, a fleet of 25 planes infringed the air space during the daytime with the rest 13 followed in the night.
China, led by Communist President Xi Jinping, considers Taiwan as a breakaway province, which the former has pledged to take back, by force if necessary. However, Taipei sees itself as a democratically-governed independent country, although it never formally declared independence from China. Tensions between Beijing and Taipei have gained momentum since October 1 after the former flew over 100 fighter jets into Taiwan's Air Defence zone. This was followed by the latter's dependence on the US for informal military support. Meanwhile, self-ruled Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has repeatedly expressed willingness to remain independent against the Chinese goal of 'reunification.' Additionally, Biden affirming US' support to Taiwan against Chinese aggression has further widened Taipei's rift with the mainland.
(With inputs from ANI/AP)