China sends 25 warplanes into Taiwan air zone

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China on Monday flew 25 warplanes over the Taiwan Strait a day after the United States’s latest warning to Beijing over any attempts to take the island by force.

The planes, which included 18 fighter jets and four bombers, flew into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone in the biggest breach of the space since September, according to Taiwan’s Defense Ministry.

In response, Taiwan monitored the planes with its air defense missile systems, issued radio warnings and sent up its own jets, their government said.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday appeared to warn China of further provocations, saying it would be “a serious mistake for anyone to try and change the existing status quo by force.”

Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Blinken also said Washington has “a serious commitment to make sure that Taiwan can defend itself.”

This is the 10th day in a row China has sent its warplanes into the air zone of Taiwan, which it views as a breakaway state it has vowed to one day seize.

But democratically ruled Taiwan has seen itself as a sovereign state ever since it split with the mainland in the 1950s.

Tensions between the two grew during the Trump administration and have continued under President Biden. Adding to that, the State Department last week announced that it was issuing new guidance for government talks with Taiwan, bucking pressure from China.

Other incidents of aggressive military posturing include Beijing earlier this month announcing that one of its aircraft carriers conducted military exercises near Taiwan’s east coast.

The Chinese Navy said such exercises will become regular drills to “safeguard national sovereignty, safety and development interests,” Reuters reported. 

Beijing also last month warned the Biden administration to stop “crossing lines and playing with fire,” in regards to Taiwan. 

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