Taiwanese officials said today that 38 Chinese warplanes had entered the island’s air defense zone, Beijing’s biggest intrusion in decades of strained relations.
The Taiwanese Ministry of Defense announced that the planes, including the nuclear-capable bombers, entered the so-called “Air Defense Identification Zone” (Adiz) in two dams yesterday morning and last night, French media reported.
The demonstration comes just days after Beijing accused Britain of sending a warship into the Taiwan Strait with “bad intentions”.
“The presence of 22 fighter jets, two bombers and a submarine in the Air Defense Identification Zone yesterday morning prompted Taiwanese forces to lift their planes and order Chinese planes to leave the area. “Last night, another group of 13 planes entered the zone, which is a total of 38 planes,” said the Taiwan Ministry of Defense.
The BBC reports that the “Air Defense Identification Zone” is an area outside the territory and airspace of the country, in which foreign aircraft continue to be identified, monitored and controlled in the interest of national security. The zone is self-proclaimed and technically remains international airspace.
China often enters this Taiwanese zone where Beijing wants to show strength. This year alone, more than 500 intrusions have been registered in it, compared to 380 from the whole of last year.