Taipei said Chinese fighter jets, including nuclear-capable H-6K bombers and four J-16 fighter jets, entered its airspace.
Chinese nuclear-capable bombers and fighter jets entered the southwest corner of the Taiwan Air Defense Identification Zone on Saturday, and the Taiwan Air Force deployed missiles to “monitor” the large-scale incursion.
The Taiwan Air Force has warned the Chinese plane, the Defense Ministry said.
“Airborne alert sorties had been ordered, radio warnings issued and air defense missile systems deployed to monitor the activity,” he said in a brief statement.
China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory, has carried out almost daily flights over the waters between the southern part of Taiwan and the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands in the South China Sea in recent months.
However, they usually consisted of one or two reconnaissance planes.
So the presence of such a large number of Chinese fighter jets in this mission – which Taiwan said consisted of eight nuclear-capable H-6K bombers and four J-16 fighter jets – was unusual.
A map provided by Taiwan’s Defense Ministry showed that the Chinese plane, which also included a Y-8 anti-submarine aircraft, flew over the same waters where the most recent Chinese missions took place near the Pratas Islands, although still far from the mainland of Taiwan. .
There was no immediate comment from China. In the past, China has said it has conducted exercises to defend the country’s sovereignty and security.
Beijing has watched with growing concern amid growing U.S. support for democratic Taiwan, particularly during the Donald Trump administration who left office on Wednesday.
Last year, during visits by senior U.S. officials to Taipei, Chinese planes briefly crossed the center line of the Taiwan Strait, which normally serves as an unofficial buffer.
The theft of Chinese bombers and fighters on Saturday came just days after Joe Biden assumed the US presidency.
Emily Horne, spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, said the U.S. engagement in Taiwan was “rock solid” after the island’s de facto ambassador to Washington, DC, Hsiao Bi-khim, attended Biden’s swearing-in ceremony.