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Taiwan: China sends record number of fighter jets to the island

Taiwan: China sends record number of fighter jets to the island
Taiwan: China sends record number of fighter jets to the island

China sends fighter jets to Taiwan almost every day. Now Beijing has sent more military aircraft to train there than ever before – just in time for the NATO summit in Washington.

During the NATO summit in the USA, China appears to be holding more military exercises off Taiwan. The Taiwanese Ministry of Defense counted 66 Chinese military aircraft around its island in the past 24 hours by Thursday morning (local time), a record number this year. 56 of them flew over the unofficial center line in the strait between China and Taiwan (Taiwan Strait), the authority said. The fighter planes entered Taiwan’s air defense zone (ADIZ) – not to be confused with airspace – from the north, southwest and southeast.

Taiwan also detected seven naval vessels of the People’s Liberation Army cruising around the island republic.

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Defense reported an increased number of Chinese military aircraft over the median line in the Taiwan Strait. They were flying towards the Western Pacific and were accompanying the Chinese aircraft carrier “Shandong” on an exercise.

China considers Taiwan a breakaway province

For several years, China has regularly sent fighter jets, other aircraft and warships near the self-governing island. The previous high was at the end of May when 62 fighter jets carried out an exercise around Taiwan shortly after the inauguration of the new Taiwanese President Lai Ching-te. If Chinese fighter jets penetrate Taiwan’s ADIZ, the armed forces must react, for example by sending their own military aircraft.

The exercise is taking place during the summit marking NATO’s 75th anniversary in Washington, where the military alliance took a tougher tone against China and accused Beijing of aiding and abetting Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.

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Taiwan seceded from mainland China at the end of the civil war and after the communists seized power in Beijing 75 years ago. Since then, Beijing has viewed the island as a breakaway province that should be reunited with the mainland. However, Taiwan has been governed by a democratically elected government for decades. President Lai Ching-te and his Democratic Progressive Party, which stands for Taiwan’s independence, are separatists in Beijing’s eyes. The People’s Republic has repeatedly threatened to force “reunification” by military means.

Source: Stern

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