ISTANBUL (AA) – Taiwan on Thursday said that at least nine Chinese military jets crossed into what the self-ruled island calls “its air space.”
A statement by Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense said the island nation’s air force scrambled away from the Chinese jets.
“The Air Force aircraft issued radio warnings and air defense missile systems (were) deployed to monitor the activities,” the ministry said.
It added the Chinese jets entered what Taiwan calls the air defense identification zone (ADIZ), in the southwestern region of the island, home to over 24 million people.
Since late last year, the Taiwan Strait – which separates the Chinese mainland from the self-ruled island – has witnessed heightened tensions as Taipei increased interactions with the US and its allies.
As Washington boosted Taipei’s defense capabilities, especially during and after the administration of former President Donald Trump, the Chinese military boosted the number of its military jets entering the ADIZ, which Taiwan says separates its air space from China’s.
Beijing claims Taiwan, an island nation of 24 million people, is its breakaway province, while Taipei has insisted on its independence since 1949 and has diplomatic relations with at least 15 countries.