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Taiwan angered by Chinese air force's largest ever incursion

WorldOct 02, 2021 07:51AM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Chinese and Taiwanese national flags are displayed alongside a military airplane in this illustration taken April 9, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

By Ben Blanchard

TAIPEI (Reuters) -Taiwan sharply criticised China on Saturday after Beijing marked the founding of the People's Republic of China with the largest ever incursion by the Chinese air force into the island's air defence zone.

Taiwan, a democratically governed island that is claimed by China, has complained for more than a year of repeated missions near it by China's air force, often in the southwestern part of its air defence zone close to the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands.

Taiwanese fighters scrambled against 38 Chinese aircraft in two waves on Friday, the Taiwan Defence Ministry said. It said Taiwan sent combat aircraft to warn away the Chinese aircraft, while missile systems were deployed to monitor them.

"China has been wantonly engaged in military aggression, damaging regional peace," Taiwan Premier Su Tseng-chang told reporters on Saturday morning.

The first wave of incursions comprised 18 J-16 and four Su-30 fighter jets plus two nuclear-capable H-6 bombers and an anti-submarine aircraft, while the second had 10 J-16s, 2 H-6s and an early warning aircraft, the ministry said.

The first batch of Chinese aircraft all flew in an area close to the Pratas Islands, with the two bombers flying closest to the atoll, according to a map issued by the ministry.

The second group flew down into the Bashi Channel that separates Taiwan from the Philippines, a key waterway that links the Pacific with the disputed South China Sea.

On Saturday, the ministry reported a further incursion, this time involving 20 aircraft, all fighters apart from two anti-submarine aircraft. They too flew in the vicinity of the Pratas.

Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu added his condemnation, tweeting on Saturday that the record sorties ensured Friday "wasn't a good day".

"Threatening? Of course," he added.

China has yet to comment.

It has previously said such flights were to protect the country's sovereignty and aimed against "collusion" between Taiwan and the United States, the island's most important international backer.

The previous largest incursion happened in June, involving 28 Chinese air force aircraft.

China's latest mission came less than a day after its government launched a verbal attack on Wu, evoking the words of revolutionary leader Mao Zedong to denounce him as a "shrilling" fly for his efforts to promote Taiwan internationally.

China has stepped up military and political pressure to try to force Taiwan to accept Chinese sovereignty.

Taiwan says it is an independent country and will defend its freedom and democracy.

Taiwan angered by Chinese air force's largest ever incursion
 

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Comments (8)
NeverLicked aToad
NeverLicked aToad Oct 02, 2021 10:13PM ET
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Someone needs to check Xi for dementia and alzheimers, he appears to be getting angry and regressing to archaic ways.
Donon Azur
Donon Azur Oct 02, 2021 1:02PM ET
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China considers Taipei a rebellious province, destined to be reunified even with the use of force if necessary: ​​for years, since the rise to power of President Tsai Ing-wen, it has intensified military and political pressure to force the island to accept Chinese sovereignty. Taiwan, on the contrary, has strengthened its freedom to be a country, independent and democratic-
Jose Maderno
Jose Maderno Oct 02, 2021 8:39AM ET
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Taiwan needs to push for a U.S. naval and nuclear deterrent on the island.  Now is the time to do it.
Paul Smith
Paul Smith Oct 02, 2021 8:39AM ET
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yep that's one way to end the world
Bernard Tan
Bernard Tan Oct 02, 2021 8:39AM ET
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Bernard Tan
Bernard Tan Oct 02, 2021 8:39AM ET
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Why protect Taiwan? Taiwan is a province of China and the two are at a truce from war now. USA should concentrate on its own country and bring up the well being of the Red indians and hispanics that are left behind by Covid. Look after your own people first.
NeverLicked aToad
NeverLicked aToad Oct 02, 2021 8:39AM ET
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FYI this site's headquarters is in China.
Mike Mike
Mike Mike Oct 02, 2021 3:53AM ET
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Our
Mike Mike
Mike Mike Oct 02, 2021 3:53AM ET
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Out pet dog is getting arrrs kicked. Got to do something about it.
Darthvader Priya
Darthvader Priya Oct 02, 2021 12:02AM ET
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China needs to be taught a lesson.
David David
David9 Oct 02, 2021 12:02AM ET
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Why.... give examples...
Jason Zou
Jason Zou Oct 02, 2021 12:02AM ET
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The problem however is that you are not taughtable, even by China, mere helpless.
NeverLicked aToad
NeverLicked aToad Oct 02, 2021 12:02AM ET
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It's just napoleon / tiny man syndrome. You know, those kids who think they grew up want to do something extreme to show they are tough, only to end up getting destroyed in the end, sent back home crying.
David David
David9 Oct 01, 2021 11:31PM ET
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If the governor in Hawaii declared Hawaii as it's own country, see what would happen. My bet is it would be the same outcome...
Edward Chong
Edward Chong Oct 01, 2021 11:31PM ET
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haha wong u are cute!
Joseph Armour
Joseph Armour Oct 01, 2021 11:31PM ET
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That is not what happened with Taiwan. China's empire collapsed. The loser of the war to take over it's remnants already had possession of Taiwan and kept it. Completely different scenario. In China's case it's a combination of security paranoia and greed.
NeverLicked aToad
NeverLicked aToad Oct 01, 2021 11:31PM ET
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Joseph Armour Heads up this website's headquarters is literally in the middle of Chiina.
Joseph Armour
Joseph Armour Oct 01, 2021 11:31PM ET
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NeverLicked aToad  So they might be coming for me? Or maybe all the readers of this site are located in the middle of China? Not sure what else you could mean.
Joseph Armour
Joseph Armour Oct 01, 2021 11:24PM ET
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Just to be clear. An air defense zone is not a nations air space. Air defense zone is an arbitrary sized area around the internationally accepted borders of a particular nation. Chosen to be well beyond the borders of a nation as a political ploy to claim some kind of infringement that does not actually exist. It's real benefit is propaganda to stir up hostility toward political enemies amongst other nations.
NeverLicked aToad
NeverLicked aToad Oct 01, 2021 11:24PM ET
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America should start flying in China's Air defense zone.
Joseph Armour
Joseph Armour Oct 01, 2021 11:24PM ET
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LOL. Where have you been? They already do. Fly in it. Sail ships inside China's claimed territorial waters. Not even an air defense zone, but actual claimed territory like our 200 mile territorial waters buffer. The USA does everything to other nations( even so called allies) that they vilify others for doing. We just happen to control the biggest bank book, the most propaganda distribution facilities( oh, I mean media companies), and the biggest and best tools of destruction. Tends to quiet legitimate critics.
 
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