Source: Robert Besser
TAIPEI, Taiwan: Responding to criticism during the G7 summit of Chinese aggression, 28 Chinese air force aircraft, including fighters and nuclear-capable bombers, entered Taiwan’s air space on Tuesday, the island’s government said.
This was the largest Chinese incursion to date.
The Chinese incursion follows the Group of Seven leaders issuing a joint statement on Sunday criticizing China on a number of issues and emphasized the importance of peace and stability with Taiwan.
China rejected the G7 criticisms, calling them “slander”.
In the past months, Taiwan has voiced complaints following repeated missions by China’s air force inside Taiwan’s air defense zone near Taiwan’s Pratas Islands.
The latest Chinese mission involved 14 J-16 and six J-11 fighters, as well as four H-6 bombers, which can carry nuclear weapons, along with anti-submarine, electronic warfare and early warning aircraft, Taiwan’s Defence Ministry said.
On April 12 China sent 25 aircraft into Taiwan’s air space.
The ministry said Taiwanese combat aircraft were launched to intercept and warn away the Chinese.
Not only did the Chinese aircraft fly in an area close to Taiwanese islands, but the Chinese bombers and fighters flew around the southern end of Taiwan.
“In response to the growing PRC threat, we will continue deepening our unofficial security relationship to ensure Taiwan has sufficient capabilities to defend itself,” a senior U.S. administration official told Reuters, referring to the People’s Republic of China.
A Pentagon spokesperson added that China’s “increasing military activities conducted in the vicinity of Taiwan are destabilizing and increase the risk of miscalculation.”
China has repeatedly called for bringing Taiwan under its control, describing the island as its most sensitive territorial issue and a red line the United States should not cross.