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Taiwan reports largest daily incursion yet by Chinese air force

On Tuesday, twenty-eight Chinese military planes crossed into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identified Zones, representing the largest incursion between the two countries since the island began regularly reporting similar actions over the past year. Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense stated that the fleet consisted of fighter jets, bombers, anti-submarine, and early warning aircraft. The previously reported highest number of aircraft entering into Taiwan’s Air Defense Zone at one time was 25 on April 12. Beijing claims full sovereignty over Taiwan although the two entities have been separately governed for seven decades.

So far, there has been no official statement released by Beijing regarding the flights. The Air Defense Identified Zones are defined as areas of airspace over land or water within which a country requires the immediate and positive identification, location, and air traffic control of aircraft due to national security interests. This is not the same as sovereign airspace, which extends 12 nautical miles from a nation’s shore, according to the US Federal Aviation Administration. Taiwan’s Defense Ministry confirmed that Taiwanese combat aircraft were dispatched to intercept and warn the Chinese fleet.

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