International

Taiwan scrambles aircraft after China sends 25 jets into air defense zone

More than two dozen Chinese fighter jets entered Taiwanese airspace on Friday in the latest show of force toward the self-ruled island.

China sent 18 J-16 fighter jets, two H-6 bombers, four Su-30 fighters and an anti-submarine aircraft into Taiwan’s air defense zone, forcing Taiwan to deploy its planes to warn Beijing away. Taiwan also deployed its missile systems to track the Chinese aircraft, Taipei’s Defense Ministry said in a statement.

The action was first reported by Reuters.

The aggressive move, which came on China’s National Day, follows a number of similar flights and military drills held by Beijing, which claims Taiwan is part of its territory and has ramped up its rhetoric toward the island since the start of the year.

China in January warned that “’Taiwan independence’ means war.”  

Then in August, the U.S. government, which maintains unofficial relations with Taiwan, approved a $750 million artillery system package for the island, heightening tensions with Beijing.

Most recently, Beijing on Sept. 23 flew 19 planes near Taiwan in the morning and five more in the afternoon. 

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