Taiwan sends jets to warn off Chinese planes in air defence zone

Taiwan scrambled jets to warn away 29 Chinese aircraft in its air defence zone, including bombers that flew to the south of the island and into the Pacific, in the latest uptick in tensions and largest incursion since late May.

Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory, has complained for the past two years or so of repeated missions by the Chinese air force near the democratically governed island, often in the south-western part of its air defence identification zone, or ADIZ, close to the Taiwan-controlled Pratas islands.

Taiwan calls China’s repeated nearby military activities “grey zone” warfare, designed to both wear out Taiwanese forces by making them repeatedly scramble, and also to test Taiwanese responses.

The latest Chinese mission on Tuesday included 17 fighters and six H-6 bombers, as well as electronic warfare, early warning, antisubmarine and an aerial refuelling aircraft, Taiwan’s defence ministry said.

Some of the aircraft flew in an area to the north-east of the Pratas, according to a map the ministry provided.

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