At least 19 aircraft from the People’s Liberation Army entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), its Ministry of Defense reported on Sunday.
The fleet was composed of ten J-16 fighters, four Su-30 fighters, and four H-6 bombers reported to have the capability to carry nuclear weapons. An anti-submarine aircraft was also reportedly spotted.
Taiwan’s own fleet of fighter jets was deployed to warn the PLA fleet they were entering Taiwan’s ADIZ. Missile systems were put on alert.
The PLA’s fleet did not engage, and China has yet to issue a statement regarding the incident.
19 PLA aircraft (Y-8 ASW, H-6*4, J-16*10 and SU-30*4) entered #Taiwan’s southwest ADIZ on September 5, 2021. Please check our official website for more information: https://t.co/4krSmean3X pic.twitter.com/1sV3OA4ode
— 國防部 Ministry of National Defense, R.O.C. 🇹🇼 (@MoNDefense) September 5, 2021
The Taiwan-China Conflict
Long claiming the island of Taiwan as part of its national territory, China has increasingly conducted exercises, demonstrations, and missile launches close to the archipelago in recent months.
In August, China conducted military exercises near Taiwan, which it called a response to “external interference” and “provocations.” Prior to that, the US approved the first arms sale to Taiwan during the Biden administration, provoking Chinese outrage.
In response, Taiwan has been strengthening its military. It was recently reported that the country will upgrade its naval and air force missile systems in the coming years, spending more than 40 billion New Taiwan Dollars ($1 billion) on the effort.