Taiwan said a major incursion of Chinese military aircraft flew into its air defense zone on Sunday.

The Defense Ministry said 19 aircraft, including fighter jets and nuclear-capable bombers, had entered the so-called air defense identification zone.

Taipei has been complaining for more than a year about the frequent missions of the Chinese air force near the island.

China sees democratic Taiwan as a splinter province, but Taiwan considers itself a sovereign country.

Taiwan's Defense Ministry said Sunday's mission included four H-6 bombers that could carry nuclear weapons as well as an anti-submarine aircraft.

The air defense identification area is an area outside the country's territory and national airspace, but foreign aircraft are still identified, monitored, and monitored for national security.

It is self-proclaimed and technically remains international airspace.

The Ministry of Defence published a map showing the flight path northeast of Bratas, closer to the Chinese coast than the Taiwanese coast.

Missile systems have been deployed and fighter jets have been sent to warn Chinese planes, the ministry said.

China has not yet officially commented.

Beijing often launches such missions to express its displeasure with Taiwan's comments.

On June, 28 military aircraft were sent to the area -- the largest incursion Taiwan has reported to date.

On 24 January, a similar mission saw 15 aircraft enter Taiwan's air defense zone, while on 12 April Taiwan reported the entry of 25 jets.

It was not clear why the latest mission was due.

But Taiwan's defense ministry warned last week that China's armed forces could "cripple" Taiwan's defenses and that the Chinese threat was growing.

China and Taiwan: Basics

  • Why are China and Taiwan having bad relations? China and Taiwan split during a civil war in the 1990s, but Beijing insists on restoring the island at some point by force if necessary.
  • Who recognizes Taiwan? The island has its own constitution, democratically elected leaders, and about 300,000 active soldiers in its armed forces.
  • What about the United States? The United States has no formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan. U.S. law does not require it to provide the island with the means to defend itself.


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