Taiwan condemned China on Saturday for sending 38 warplanes into its airspace the day before, the largest ever incursion reported.
Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence said 25 Chinese warplanes – including 18 J-16 fighter jets, four Su-30 fighters and two H-6 bombers and one Yun-8 aircraft – first entered Taiwan’s airspace on China’s National Day, which was celebrated on Friday.
A further 13, including 10 J-16 fighters, two H-6 bombers, and one KJ-500 airborne, were spotted during the evening.
Taiwan Premier Su Tseng-chang told reporters on Saturday China “has been desperately building up its military power and has undermined regional peace.”
Friday’s intrusion marked the highest number of Chinese aircraft in Taiwan’s Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) since the Defence Ministry began to release such reports on its official web site in September 2020.
The ministry said the Taiwan Air Force issued radio warnings and its air defence missile systems were activated to monitor the activity.
Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu on Saturday expressed his serious concerns over the largest number of daily sorties by Chinese warplanes on record on Friday.
“Threatening? Of course. It’s strange the People’s Republic of China (PRC) doesn’t bother faking excuses anymore,” Wu tweeted.
China’s intrusion on Friday followed a similar one involving 24 Chinese fighter jets on September 23, shortly after Taiwan filed an application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), an 11-nation trading group.
On June 15, China sent 28 fighter jets to Taiwan’s ADIZ. On April 12, Taiwan detected 25 Chinese warplanes entering Taiwan’s south-western ADIZ.
Taiwan has had an independent government since 1949, but China considers the self-governing democratic island part of its territory.