Taiwan denounced a record number of Chinese aircraft raids in its airspace

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Chinese army aircraft carried out 39 incursions into Taiwan’s air defense zone on Sunday, Jan. 23, according to the island’s government. This is the largest daily incursion since last October.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense said in a statement late Sunday that it had taken off its own planes to track 39 Chinese planes that had entered the Taiwan Air Defense Identification Area (Adis). According to the military authorities, among the intruders were 24 J-16 fighters, 10 J-10 fighters and a nuclear-capable H-6 bomber.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense began announcing the Chinese warplanes’ raids on the affected area in September 2020 and The last quarter of 2021 Marked the height of these raids. October remains the busiest month with 196 incursions, including 149 incursions in just four days, while Beijing celebrated its National Day.

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It should be clarified that the defense zone does not correspond to the airspace of Taiwan, but includes a much larger area that overlaps with part of the Chinese air defense identification zone.

Agence France-Presse has created a database that collects details of these flights and has noticed an increase in the frequency and number of aircraft. Taiwan recorded 969 strikes from Chinese warplanes in its air defense zone in 2021 according to the database compiled by AFP, more than double the nearly 380 in 2020.

These Chinese maneuvers have been almost daily since President Tsai Ing-wen’s re-election in January 2020 because the leader flatly rejects the Chinese allegations. Since then, Beijing has used these incursions to express its displeasure or to mark symbolic dates, such as October 1, to be exact, China’s National Day, as our Taipei correspondent reported, Adrian Seymoury.

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Read also: Chinese naval and air exercises in the Taiwan Strait

On the other hand, the Taiwan Air Force has suffered a series of fatal accidents in recent years as its aging fleet has remained under pressure from China. The Air Force temporarily grounded its fleet of F-16 fighters earlier this month after one of its F-16Vs, its most advanced combat aircraft, crashed into the sea during a training mission, killing a pilot.

(and with AFP)


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