China on Sunday sent 39 military aircraft, mostly fighter jets, to Taiwan’s air defense zone, the second largest infiltration since October, the island’s government has revealed.
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said in a statement late on Sunday that it had deployed its own aircraft to issue warnings and activate its air defense missile system to monitor 39 Chinese aircraft.
Officially, it is not clear why China moved so many planes in a single day. But they came only after the United States and Japan conducted naval exercises in the Philippine Sea., Including water in eastern Taiwan.
The exercises were conducted using United States Naval Institute (USNI) aircraft carriers, two Amphibious assault ships, two guided missile ships, 26 aircraft and three submarines, and the Japanese submarine JS Huga.
“Freedom is the best! Nothing reaffirms our commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific system, such as 2 carrier strike teams and 2 waterfall teams traveling alongside our close friends in the Japanese Maritime Defense Force.Vice Admiral Carl Thomas, commander of the US 7th Fleet based in Japan, said in a statement on Sunday.
The U.S. Navy, meanwhile, said the exercise was aimed at “safeguarding and safeguarding the free and open Indo-Pacific region.” Although the exact location of the exercise is not specified, it is known that it was carried out in the Philippine Sea, which includes waters east of the Chinese island of Taiwan.
The Chinese offensive on Sunday was the second largest on record, including 24 J-26 fighter jets, 10 J-10s and a nuclear-capable H-6 bomber.
Taiwan lives under the threat of continuous Chinese invasion, which considers the democratically governed island to be part of its territory and has even forcibly withdrawn it.
In the last quarter of 2021 there was a sharp improvement in the Chinese Air Defense Identity Zone (ADIZ) infiltrations, with 56 infiltrations reported in a single day on October 4th.
Taiwan began releasing reports of Chinese airstrikes in September 2020.
ADIZ is not like Taiwan’s airspace, and covers much of China’s air defense zone.
According to a database compiled by AFP, last year, Taiwan recorded 969 tests by Chinese aircraft on its ADIZ, more than double the nearly 380 made in 2020.
(With information from AFP)