China invades Taiwan’s air defense zone one day after the military budget increase

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In this April 9, 2021 illustration, Chinese and Taiwanese national flags are displayed next to a military aircraft. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration

Taipei, Sept. 17 (Reuters) – Taiwan’s air force attempted to repel 10 Chinese planes that entered its air defense zone on Friday, Taiwan’s defense ministry said the day after the island announced a $ 9 billion increase in military spending the threat posed by China.

The Chinese alleged Taiwan has been complaining about repeated missions by the Chinese Air Force near the democratically ruled island, often in the southwestern portion of its air defense zone near the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands, for a year or more.

The latest Chinese mission involved 6 J-16 and 2 J-11 fighters, as well as a anti-submarine aircraft and a reconnaissance aircraft, the Taiwanese ministry said.

Taiwan sent fighter jets to warn the Chinese planes while missile systems were deployed to monitor them, the ministry said.

The Chinese fighters flew in an area near the Pratas while the anti-submarine and reconnaissance aircraft flew into the Bashi Canal, which separates Taiwan from the Philippines, according to a map from the ministry.

Warships, early warning planes and bombers were used in patrols and exercises on Friday to enhance the Chinese military’s joint combat capabilities in the region, a spokesman for China’s Eastern Theater Command said in a statement on Saturday.

‘SERIOUS THREAT’

The incident occurred a day after Taiwan proposed increasing military spending by $ 8.7 billion over the next five years, including on new missiles, and warned of the urgent need to arms arms in the face of a “grave threat.” Arm China.

The Chinese patrols and exercises also coincided on Friday with a transit in the cross-strait of a US destroyer that the US Navy has described as a “routine” through international waters.

The Eastern Theater Command, the overseas Chinese military in eastern China, said in a separate statement on Saturday that the USS Barry would be monitored throughout its course.

Taiwan’s Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang said Friday the government must take the threat from China seriously.

“The Chinese communists are always planning against us,” he said.

Taiwan’s defense spending “is based on maintaining national sovereignty, national security and national security. We must not let up. We must make the best possible preparations to avoid war,” he added.

For its part, China’s government on Friday criticized Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu for his comments this week in which he said Taiwan was a “sea fortress” blocking China’s expansion into the Pacific.

Wu’s “aim is to deceive public opinion, meddle and cooperate with foreign anti-Chinese forces,” said a statement from the Chinese Office for Taiwan Affairs.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Additional coverage from Ryan Woo in Beijing; Edited by Robert Birsel and William Mallard

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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