scrambles fighter jets after detecting nearby Chinese troops


Taipei’s defenses have been activated in response to Beijing’s latest military activity near the self-governing island

Taiwan’s armed forces have taken action to warn Chinese aircraft and naval vessels detected near the self-governing island, including one that allegedly entered Taipei’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).

Fighter jets, missile systems and naval forces were thrown together after nine Chinese aircraft and two naval vessels were detected in and near the Taiwan Strait on Saturday, Taiwan’s defense ministry said. The plane that breached the ADIZ was in the southwestern corner of the zone, in the same area where a record 56 Chinese jets flew on Oct. 4.

However, contrary to a claim by US Senator Robert Menendez, who visited Taiwan last April, the Chinese jets have not entered Taiwanese airspace. The ADIZ extends far beyond the territory of Taipei and covers the region where Taiwan monitors aircraft for security purposes.

China has stepped up military exercises in the Taiwan region since August, when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ignored Beijing’s warnings against a visit to Taipei. In response to the spat, China severed military and climate ties with the US and conducted wargames in the Taiwan Strait.

China has vowed to reunite with Taiwan, by force if necessary, and considers the island part of its sovereign territory. The US and the United Nations recognize Beijing as the “only legal government of China” below the “A Chinese” policy. Washington officially recognizes, without approving, China’s claim to sovereignty over Taiwan.

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During his speech at the Communist Party Congress last month, President Xi Jinping called on the People’s Liberation Army to: “completely improve training and preparation for war”, The South China Morning Post reported this on Saturday. PLA officers have said the Chinese military is now on “full-time standby” for war in the Taiwan Strait.

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