37 Chinese fighter jets fly through Taiwan's defence zone

Tapei: According to Taiwan's defence ministry, more than 30 Chinese warplanes entered Taiwan's air defence zone over the course of about six hours on Thursday, marking a sharp increase in the number of Chinese military incursions in a single day.

China has vowed to one day annexe Taiwan, which is self-governing, using force if necessary.

Beijing has increased its aerial incursions into the island's air defence identification zone in recent years; in 2022, compared to the previous year, the number of air sorties was nearly doubled.

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According to Sun Li-fang, a spokesman for Taiwan's Ministry of National Defence, "a total of 37 Chinese military aircrafts" entered Taiwan's southwest ADIZ starting at 5 a.m. local time (2100 GMT) on Thursday.

Around 11 a.m., Sun stated that some soldiers "continued... towards the Western Pacific for long-range reconnaissance training."

Although Thursday's surge of incursions wasn't the most this year—that honour belongs to the 45 sorties on April 9—it did take place over a much shorter period of time.

The ADIZ of Taiwan is much larger than its airspace, and it even extends into parts of the Chinese mainland.

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According to the ministry's tweet, Taiwan's military is "closely monitoring the situation" and has sent out patrol planes, naval ships, and land-based missile systems in response.

They did not say whether the incursions were still happening.

According to analysts, China's increased probing of Taiwan's defence zone is a part of larger "grey-zone" strategies used to maintain pressure on the island.

The incursions happened a day after the US, Philippines, and Japan finished their first-ever joint coast guard exercises in the contentious South China Sea, which Beijing claims almost entirely.

Taipei's diplomatic engagements with other nations typically coincide with a rise in Chinese military air and naval exercises near Taiwan.

China reacts angrily to any diplomatic move that seems to treat Taiwan as a sovereign state and has become more assertive in its responses to joint military drills around the island and political visits from Western leaders.

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In response to a meeting between Taiwan's leader Tsai Ing-wen and Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in California in April, Beijing held three days of military drills simulating a blockade of the island

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