China flies 39 warplanes towards Taiwan as tensions with island rise

Taiwan’s air force scrambled its own jets and tracked the People’s Liberation Army planes on its air defence radar systems, the defence ministry said.

China has flown dozens of warplanes towards Taiwan in its largest display of power of the new year, continuing a pattern that caused the island to scramble its own jets in response.

The formation of 39 jets on Sunday night included 24 J-16 fighter jets and 10 J-10 jets, among other support and electronic warfare aircraft, according to Taiwan’s defence ministry.

Taiwan’s air force tracked the People’s Liberation Army planes on its air defence radar systems, it added.

Chinese pilots have been flying towards Taiwan on a near-daily basis during the past year and a half, since Taiwan’s government started publishing the data regularly.

The largest sortie was 56 warplanes on a single day last October.

The activity has generally been in the air space southwest of Taiwan.

 

This falls into what Taiwan’s military calls the air defense identification zone, or air space it monitors out of national security considerations.

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