Tue, 02 Mar 2021

Taiwan Reports Encroachment by Chinese Military Aircraft

Voice of America
24 Jan 2021, 04:35 GMT+10

Taiwan's defense ministry said Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan's defense identification zone Saturday and that the Taiwanese air force warned them to withdraw.

China, which claims Taiwan as its territory, has routinely had one or two reconnaissance aircraft fly over the area in recent months. On Saturday, however, eight nuclear-capable bombers and four fighter jets flew over the waters between the southern part of Taiwan and the Pratas Islands in the South China Sea.

In a statement, the ministry said it responded with airborne sorties, radio warnings and "air defense missile systems deployed to monitor the activity."

China, which did not immediately comment on Saturday's developments, has said it has been conducting exercises to defend Taiwan's sovereignty and security.

The entry of China's military aircraft into Taiwan's defense identification zone comes three days after Joe Biden assumed the U.S. presidency, following his defeat of Donald Trump. During Trump's four years in office, China became increasingly concerned over growing U.S. support for the East Asian island.

Taiwan's defacto ambassador in Washington, Hsiao Bi-khim, attended Biden's inauguration on Wednesday. After the ceremonies, White House National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne said the U.S. commitment to Taiwan was "rock solid."

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