China sends fleet of 77 planes over Taiwan in 2 days in record show of force
Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense reported on Friday that China entered its air space with 38 aircrafts, while 39 flew into their skies yesterday.
The war planes included 26 J-16 fighter jets, 10 Su-30 fighter jets, two Y-8 anti-submarine warning aircraft and one KJ-500 airborne early warning and control plane.
Taiwan has been repeatedly reporting missions conducted by China’s air force that enters the democratically-governed island’s air defense zone near the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands.
But the incursions in the past two days have beaten the previous record for the most amount of flights – when 28 Chinese military planes flew into the airspace in June.
In response to the flights yesterday, the Taiwanese air force scrambled its jets, issued radio warnings, and deployed air defense missile systems.
Taiwan Premier Su Tseng-chang told reporters yesterday: “China has been wantonly engaged in military aggression, damaging regional peace.”
The defence ministry said 20 aircrafts arrived during the day on Saturday – while 19 more appeared in the evening.
It comes as China this weekend celebrated the anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
For more than seven decades Taiwan and mainland China have been governed separately – but Beijing still views Taiwan as part of its territory.
Taiwan sees itself as a sovereign state, but China sees democratic Taiwan as a breakaway province.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has refused to rule out military force to capture Taiwan if necessary.
Although China has not yet commented on the aircrafts, it has in the past said it conducted similar flights to fight “collusion” between the United States and Taiwan.
In June, 28 Chinese aircraft had entered Taiwan’s air space just a day after the government attacked Taiwan’s foreign minister for attempting to promote Taiwan internationally.
Since the event, China has beefed up its military and political pressure on the island to get Taiwan to accept Chinese sovereignty, while Taiwan announced it was an independent country that will defend its democracy.