Eighteen Chinese aircraft entered Taiwan’s air defense zone Friday, forcing Taiwan to scramble jets to warn them away.
Taiwan’s defense ministry said that the incursion of the island nation’s airspace by China is part of a now-regular pattern that continues to anger the island’s government, according to Reuters. China claims Taiwan as its own territory and started enacting such missions roughly two years ago, the outlet continued.
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The latest mission included six Chinese J-11 and six J-16 fighters and two H-6 bombers, the ministry of Taiwan said, according to Reuters. The bombers were accompanies by a Y-8 anti-submarine aircraft, which felt via the southern region of the island toward the Philippines, the outlet reported. (RELATED: Police Arrest Three People For Allegedly Spying On Congressional Candidate, US Olympian For China)
Taiwanese fighters were immediately deployed, along with air defense missiles to “monitor the activities” of the Chinese aircraft, Reuters noted. No shots were fired as the aircraft remained in Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone and not directly into Taiwan’s air space, according to the outlet.
The island is in a heightened state of alert over concerns that China may use Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to conduct a similar military move on Taiwan, Reuters continued. Earlier this year, China’s ambassador to the U.S., Qin Gang, warned that if the U.S. continued to embolden Taiwanese independence, then a war was likely.