China Enters Taiwan Air Defense Zone a Day After Military Budget Boost

By Reuters
September 17, 2021Chinashare
China Enters Taiwan Air Defense Zone a Day After Military Budget Boost
Chinese J-15 fighter jets being launched from the deck of the Liaoning aircraft carrier during military drills in the Yellow Sea, off China's east coast on Dec. 23, 2016. (STR/AFP via Getty Images)

TAIPEI—Taiwan’s air force scrambled on Friday to warn away 10 Chinese aircraft that entered its air defense zone, Taiwan’s defense ministry said, the day after the island announced a $9 billion boost to military spending to counter the threat from China.

Chinese-claimed Taiwan has complained for a year or more of repeated missions by the Chinese regime’s air force near the democratically governed island, often in the southwestern part of its air defense zone close to the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands.

The latest Chinese mission involved six J-16 and two J-11 fighters plus one anti-submarine and one reconnaissance aircraft, the Taiwan ministry said.

Taiwan sent combat aircraft to warn away the Chinese regime’s aircraft, while missile systems were deployed to monitor them, the ministry said.

The Chinese regime’s fighters flew in an area close to the Pratas, while the anti-submarine and reconnaissance aircraft flew into the Bashi Channel that separates Taiwan from the Philippines, according to a map that the ministry issued.

There was no immediate comment from the Chinese regime.

The incident came a day after Taiwan proposed extra defense spending of $8.69 billion over the next five years, including on new missiles, warning of an urgent need to upgrade weapons in the face of a “severe threat” from the Chinese regime.

Speaking earlier on Friday, Taiwan Premier Su Tseng-chang said the government had to take the threat from the Chinese regime seriously.

“The Chinese communists plot against us constantly,” he said.

Taiwan’s defense spending “is based on safeguarding national sovereignty, national security, and national security. We must not relax. We must have the best preparations so that no war will occur”, he added.

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