Taiwan Scrambles Jets After 52 Chinese Military Aircraft Fly Near Its Airspace
12:18 GMT 04.10.2021 (Updated: 12:42 GMT 19.06.2023)
© AP Photo / Wally Santana In this Sept. 16, 2014, file photo, a Taiwan Air Force F-16 fighter jet takes off from a closed section of highway during the annual Han Kuang military exercises in Chiayi, central Taiwan
© AP Photo / Wally Santana
Over the last three days, the self-governed island, which Beijing considers part of its territory, has reported detecting 100 flybys of Chinese military jets along the edge of its controlled airspace.
Taiwan scrambled jets after it spotted 52 military aircraft belonging to the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force flying in the proximity of the Pratas Islands controlled by Taipei, Taiwan's Defence Ministry said. A dozen Chinese H-6 bombers and 31 J-16 fighter jets were among the detected PLA aircraft.
This is the third day that Taiwan reports Chinese military aircraft flying close to its defence systems detection range. On 3 October, the island reported sighting 39 PLA aircraft, among them fighter jets, Y-8 anti-submarine warfare aircraft, and KJ-500 early warning and control jets. Prior to that, Taiwan said it spotted 38 Chinese jets flying in proximity of its airspace on Friday.
3 October 2021, 10:37 GMT
The island's Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang slammed the actions of China, which considers Taiwan a breakaway province, as "brutal and barbarian". He claimed that Beijing jeopardises peace in the region. Taipei also urged the US and Australia to cooperate with the island on security in the face of the alleged threat from China.
The two countries do not officially recognise Taiwan, but do not back Beijing's claims for it either. The US routinely sends its warships to sail through the Taiwan Strait, sparking harsh criticism from China every time this happens. Washington also expressed concern on 4 October over China's "provocative military action" – referring to its recent flybys near Taiwan's airspace.
"We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure and coercion against Taiwan", US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said.