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30 Chinese planes close to Taiwan

Taiwanese officials said 30 Chinese military aircraft flew into the island’s air defense identification zone, the most since January.

Defense Agency Taiwan today said force China deployed include 14 J-11 and J-16 heavy fighters, four J-10 light fighters, four Su-30 and Su-35 multirole fighters, two KJ-500 airborne command aircraft, four Y-8 electronic reconnaissance aircraft, a jammer and an anti-submarine aircraft.

China's J-16 fighter in a close approach to the island of Taiwan.  Photo: Taiwan Defense Agency.

China’s J-16 fighter in a close approach to the island of Taiwan. Image: Taiwan Defense Agency.

Chinese aircraft operated in the southwest of Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), near the Dongsha Islands controlled by Taipei. Taiwan’s Self-Defense Forces deployed response fighters and activated anti-aircraft missile systems for surveillance.

This is the closest encounter with the number of Chinese aircraft since the end of January, when 39 mainland military aircraft entered the Taiwan ADIZ.

China’s Ministry of National Defense has not commented on the report.

China has always considered Taiwan as a province awaiting reunification and vowed to use force if necessary. Recently, the Chinese military has continuously increased military pressure on Taiwan by traditional and non-traditional means. In addition to flights close to the island with a record number of aircraft, the Chinese military also conducted many landing exercises to occupy the coast near Taiwan.

US President Joe Biden said on May 23 that the US would intervene militarily if China attacked Taiwan, arguing that Beijing had no right to take the island by force. The US President also warned that China was taking a risk when sending many aircraft close to the airspace of Taiwan island, as well as holding naval exercises in the area.

However, a day later, Mr. Biden confirmed that the policy of “strategic ambiguity” with Taiwan remained, in which Washington helped build self-defense capacity for the island of Taiwan but did not promise to defend the island by military measures to avoid angering Beijing.

Location of Dong Sa archipelago.  Graphics: Google Earth.

Location of Dong Sa archipelago (red dot). Graphics: Google Earth.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin warned on May 25 that the US would pay a heavy price if it “went down the wrong path” on the Taiwan issue, asserting that neither side could prevent Beijing from “reunifying China”. best in the country”.

The Eastern Theater Command of the People’s Liberation Army of China announced on the same day that it would organize a joint combat readiness patrol and drills in the airspace and waters around the island of Taiwan. “This is a stark warning to the recent US-Taiwan collusion activities,” Eastern Theater Command spokesman Shi Yi said.

Vu Anh (Follow Reuters)

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