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Taiwan says Chinese fighter briefly enters defense zone

/ 06:31 PM June 16, 2020

Taiwan said a Chinese fighter jet briefly entered its air defense zone on Tuesday, the third incursion in a week, prompting the island to scramble its own aircraft in response.

Beijing views democratic self-ruled Taiwan as its own territory and has vowed to one day seize it, by force if necessary.

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Taiwan’s air force said its planes broadcast warnings and “took active intercept responses” as China’s J-10 fighter briefly flew into the island’s southwestern air defense identification zone (ADIZ).

The latest incursion came a week after multiple Chinese Su-30 jets entered Taiwan’s ADIZ last Tuesday, hours after a US military transport plane flew over the island in a move that China called an “illegal act” and “serious provocation”.

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A Chinese military Y-8 transport aircraft also briefly entered Taiwan’s defense zone on Friday.

The ADIZ stretches beyond Taiwan’s airspace and is used to give an early warning of possible incursions. China maintains a similar air defense zone.

Beijing has ramped up fighter flights and military exercises near Taiwan since the 2016 election of President Tsai Ing-wen, who refuses to acknowledge that the island is part of “one China”.

It has also sought to diplomatically and economically isolate the island.

Tsai was elected for a second term in January with a record landslide in a vivid rebuke of Beijing’s hardline stance.

In February, she criticized Beijing for a “meaningless and unnecessary” move when a fighter jet crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait separating the two sides.

In March 2019, two Chinese J-11 fighter jets crossed over the median line for the first time in years.

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Beijing also sent its new aircraft carrier, the Shandong, through the strait in December, shortly before Taiwan’s presidential election.

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TAGS: China, Politics, President Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan
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