The Taiwanese Air Force rushed again on Sunday to remove 27 Chinese planes that entered its air defense zone, the Taiwan Defense Ministry said, the latest increase in tensions across the Taiwan Strait as the Chinese president met with his main generals.
Taiwan, claimed by China, has been complaining for a year or more about repeated Chinese Air Force missions near the democratically ruled island, often in the southwestern part of its air defense identification zone , or ADIZ, near the Pratas Islands controlled by Taiwan.
Taiwan calls China’s repeated military activities in the vicinity a “gray zone war,” designed both to exhaust Taiwanese forces by repeatedly scrambling them, and also to test Taiwan’s responses.
Over a four-day period beginning Oct. 1, when China celebrated its national day, Taiwan said nearly 150 PLA military planes entered its ADIZ, not into territorial airspace but into an area. wider than Taiwan is monitoring and patrolling which acts to give it more time to respond to any threats.
The latest Chinese mission included 18 fighter jets and five nuclear-capable H-6 bombers, as well as, unusually, a Y-20 mid-air refueling aircraft, the Taiwanese ministry said.
The bombers and six of the fighters flew south from Taiwan through the Bashi Channel that separates the island from the Philippines, then across the Pacific before returning to China, according to a map provided by the ministry.
These planes were accompanied by the refueling plane, suggesting that China refueled shorter-range fighters in flight, a skill that the country’s Air Force is still working to hone to enable it to project its power further from the Chinese coast.
Taiwan sent fighter jets to ward off Chinese planes, while missile systems were deployed to monitor them, the ministry said.
There was no immediate comment from China, which has in the past declared such measures to be exercises aimed at protecting the country’s sovereignty.
However, Chinese state media reported that President Xi Jinping held a three-day meeting that ended on Sunday with the country’s top officials to discuss how to further strengthen the armed forces through the cultivation of talents.
Although reading his remarks made no direct mention of Taiwan, Xi stressed the need to modernize the military in order to be able to win wars.
“It is necessary to make great efforts to strengthen scientific and technological knowledge and improve the real ability to win modern wars,” Xi said according to the state-run Xinhua News Agency.
“There is a need to strengthen hands-on experience and to encourage and guide officers and soldiers to experience the wind and rain, to see the world, to strengthen their muscles and bones, and to develop their talents in a practice. fiery military. “
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by DAILYNEWSCATCH staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)