Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) fighters and bombers crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait on Saturday, in what is seen as a repeated violation by Taiwan.
“PLA crossed the median line of the Taiwan Straits again today, severely violating our sovereignty and destabilise regional peace. Ministry of National Defense (MND) strongly condemns and urges PRC to practise self-restraint and don’t be a troublemaker in the Indo-Pacific region,” Taiwanese defense ministry posted on its official Twitter account.
On September 19, twelve J-16 fighters, two J-10 fighters, two J-11 fighters, two H-6 bombers and one Y-8 ASW crossed the midline of the Taiwan Strait and entered Taiwan’s southwest Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), the ministry added.
Taiwan quickly scrambled fighters and deployed air defense missile system to monitor PLA activities.
On September 11, MND claimed that Chinese warplanes intruded into Taiwan’s ADIZ, created by the U.S. after World War II, 40 times in two days. On Friday, two H-6 bombers, eight J-16 fighters, four J-10 fighters and four J-11 fighters crossed the midline. China sent two PLA Y-8 anti-submarine aircrafts into Taiwan’s southwestern ADIZ.
The recent Chinese ‘violations’ come in the backdrop of U.S. Undersecretary of State, Keith Krach’s visit, to the island nation this week. China has been conducting ‘real combat-oriented drills’ in the Taiwan Straits. It held similar exercises in August when U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar visited Taiwan.
The United States is expected to clear arms sales including weapons packages from Lockheed Martin and Boeing, and drones from General Atomics, this week.