China sends warplanes over Taiwan
September 21, 2020 - Multiple Chinese aircraft flew across the mid-line of the Taiwan Strait and into the island’s air defence identification zone on Friday and Saturday, prompting Taiwan to warn it has the right to “self-defence and to counter attack”.
China flooded the Taiwan Strait at the northern end of the South China Sea with warplanes over two days last week in an apparent attempt to intimidate the self-governing island democracy it claims as its own territory.
The drills were timed to coincide with the visit to Taiwan by a high-ranking U.S. envoy for talks and to attend a memorial service for former Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui, who led the island’s transition to full democracy in the face of Chinese threats.
China’s defence ministry said the planes, including 32 fighters of various types, four bombers and one anti-submarine warfare aircraft, crossed into Taiwan’s air defence identification zone on Friday and Saturday. Taiwan responded by activating its ground-based air defence systems and scrambling fighters, who ordered the Chinese planes to leave, saying they would “bear all the consequences” if they did not.
The Taiwan Strait is a busy transit route to and from the South China Sea which is roughly divided between China to the west and Taiwan to the east.
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