A Chinese bomber and fighter jet approached Taiwan’s airspace on Monday, marking the 8th time People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) warplanes have menaced the country in less than two weeks.
Taiwan’s Air Force on Monday announced that a PLAAF Xi’an H-6 strategic bomber and a Chengdu J-10 were detected entering the southwest corner of Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) at noon, reported CNA.
The H-6 is a nuclear-capable bomber based on an old Soviet design that has participated in several such drills near Taiwan, including what China calls “island encirclement” exercises around the Chinese claimed-island.
The Air Force responded by issuing a warning to the aircraft and dispatched aerial reconnaissance and patrol aircraft to intercept them.
The Chinese air force received verbal warnings to leave via radio, and patrolling Taiwanese fighters also “proactively drove off” the aircraft, Taiwan’s air force said in a short statement, without giving details.
After being met with Taiwanese patrol jets, the planes departed Taiwan’s ADIZ. Based on the Ministry of National Defense data, this is the eighth time Chinese military jets have threatened Taiwan’s airspace in 13 days.
The previous seven incidents included several Su-30 fighter jets on June 9, a Shaanxi Y-8 transport plane on June 12, a J-10 on June 16, a J-10 and a Y-8 on June 17, a J-10 and a Shenyang J-11 on June 18, a J-10 on June 19, and a J-10 on June 21.
China claims Taiwan as its own territory, and has previously said its drills near the island are routine and designed to show Beijing’s determination to protect its sovereignty. Taiwan has shown no interest in being run by autocratic China.