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Taiwan claims 11 Chinese planes entered its defense zone in latest flyby

Taiwan claims 11 Chinese planes entered its defense zone in latest flyby
Tawan’s defense ministry has accused 11 Chinese planes of violating its air defense zone, days after the foreign minister in Taipei warned the island would “defend ourselves.”

In a statement released on its website, the Taiwanese defense ministry declared that 11 People’s Liberation army (PLA) aircraft were detected entering from the southwest of the island’s air defense zone, eight of which are believed to be fighter jets.

It is the latest in a string of incidents where Taipei has accused Beijing of increasing military activity around the island and comes days after a similar flyby was reported by Taiwan. 

On Wednesday, 15 planes from the Chinese airforce, including 12 fighter jets, flew above the island’s airspace, according to a report from Taiwanese officials monitoring the defense zone.

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The same day the US also sparked anger from China after sailing a warship through the Taiwan Strait. Washington claimed that the manoeuvre was designed to demonstrate “the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific”, while China accused the Biden administration of engaging in “an old trick to manipulate the cross-Strait situation.”

The developments follow comments from the Taiwanese foreign minister, Joesph Wu, vowing to “defend ourselves to the very last day” and declaring their willingness to “fight the war if we need to fight the war.”

China has not addressed the recent flights above Taiwan or the comments from Wu. However, Beijing’s Taiwan Affairs Office has previously reiterated its statement that military activities around Taiwan are designed to protect the sovereignty of China and its territory, as China considers the islands one of its provinces.

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