China: Taiwan angered after Beijing flies 38 fighter jets into its airspace – the largest ever incursion

More than three dozen Chinese fighter jets have flown into Taiwan airspace in the largest ever incursion by Beijing into the island nation’s defence zone.

The People’s Liberation Army deployed 18 J-16 fighter jets and two H-6 bombers, among the 25 planes flown to mark the founding of the People’s Republic of China on Friday.

A further 13 planes were sent near Taiwanese airspace in a second manoeuvre and on Saturday another 20 aircraft were reported.

In response, Taiwan deployed air patrol forces and tracked the Chinese aircraft on its air defence systems, the self-ruled island’s defence ministry said.

“China has been wantonly engaged in military aggression, damaging regional peace,” Taiwan Premier Su Tseng-chang told reporters on Saturday morning.

China has sent planes toward the island it claims is part of its territory on an almost daily basis in recent years, often in the southwestern part of its air defence zone close to the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands.

Last week, the PLA flew 24 fighter jets toward Taiwan after it announced it would apply to join a Pacific trade group that China also applied to join.

Taiwan split from China during the 1949 civil war and Beijing has never ruled out using force to reunify with Taiwan.

China also opposed Taiwan’s involvement in international organisations.

It has previously said it carries out the flights to protect China’s sovereignty and to deter “collusion” between Taiwan and the US.

On Friday, the Chinese government called Tiawan foreign minister Joseph Wu a “shrilling” fly for his efforts to promote the country on the international scene.

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