Asia - Pacific

9 Chinese jets cross into ‘Taiwan airspace’: Taiwan's Defense Ministry

Ministry of Defense of self-ruled island says air force issued warnings to incoming Chinese jets

Riyaz ul Khaliq   | 24.02.2022
9 Chinese jets cross into ‘Taiwan airspace’: Taiwan's Defense Ministry Credit: https://twitter.com/MoNDefense

ISTANBUL

Taiwan on Thursday said that at least nine Chinese military jets crossed into what the self-ruled island calls "its air space." 

A statement by Taiwan's Ministry of Defense said the island nation's air force scrambled away from the Chinese jets.

"The Air Force aircraft issued radio warnings and air defense missile systems (were) deployed to monitor the activities," the ministry said.

It added the Chinese jets entered what Taiwan calls the air defense identification zone (ADIZ), in the southwestern region of the island, home to over 24 million people.

The high number of jets entering the ADIZ came when Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a military intervention in Ukraine early Thursday, just days after recognizing two separatist-held enclaves in eastern Ukraine, drawing widespread international condemnation and announcements of tougher sanctions on Moscow.

The intervention followed a month-long buildup of some 100,000 troops around Ukraine, with Russia repeatedly denying any intent to launch an invasion.

There were also reports on Thursday of explosions in several Ukrainian provinces, including the capital Kyiv, and several military vehicles reportedly crossed the border from Belarus into Ukraine.

However, since late last year, the Taiwan Strait – which separates the Chinese mainland from the self-ruled island – witnessed heightened tensions across as Taipei increased interactions with the US and its allies.

As Washington boosted Taipei's defense capabilities, especially during and after the administration of former President Donald Trump, the Chinese military likewise boosted the number of its military jets entering the ADIZ, which Taiwan says separates its air space from China's.

Beijing claims Taiwan, an island nation of 24 million people, is its breakaway province, while Taipei has insisted on its independence since 1949 and has diplomatic relations with at least 15 countries.

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