Taiwan reports incursion of 71 planes on first day of Chinese exercises

Beijing, Apr 9 (EFE).- Seventy one planes and nine military ships from China made incursions Saturday in areas around Taiwan during maneuvers carried out by the Chinese Army in areas near the island, the Taiwanese defense ministry said Sunday.

The military said in its Twitter social media account that 45 of the Chinese airplanes crossed the median line of the Strait of Formosa, which in practice is an unofficial border tacitly respected by Taipei and Beijing in recent decades.

Models such as SU-30, J-10 and J-11 fighters took part in the air raid, in the southwestern and northern parts of Taiwan’s self-defined Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), which is undefined and unregulated by international treaty and is not equivalent to its airspace.

The movements were detected between 6am on Saturday (10pm on Friday GMT) and 6pm Sunday (10pm on Saturday GMT).

The island’s air forces monitored the situation with naval and combat air patrols and ground-based missile systems, the ministry said.

In the past two years, Chinese military aircraft have carried out numerous raids on the Taiwanese ADIZ, escalating at a time when tensions between the two territories have escalated.

China announced the exercises Saturday, which will last until Monday, in response to the meeting Wednesday in California between Tsai and the speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy.

A Chinese military spokesman called the moves “a serious warning” against “provocation by separatist forces” and a “necessary action to protect China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry on Saturday said it condemned the military exercises, calling them “an irrational act that endangers regional security and stability.”

Beijing has considered Taiwan a rogue province since Kuomintang nationalists withdrew there in 1949 after losing the civil war to the communist army. EFE


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