China Scrambles Fighter Jets Near Taiwan in Wake of U.S. Carrier Exercises
China has deployed several dozen military aircraft to sorties near Taiwan. This marks China’s largest such show of aerial force in months amid two US aircraft carrier strike groups concluding training exercises with Japan. The exercises ended over the weekend, and occurred near Japan. In total, China’s People’s Liberation Army deployed 39 warplanes, including two dozen J-16 fighter jets and a nuclear capable H-6 bomber, near Taiwan’s airspace. Taiwan’s Air Force reported the military buildup, calling it the most intense action since the PLA sent a record 56 aircraft near Taiwan on October 4. On Monday, China flew an additional 13 military aircraft near Taiwan.
The US Navy released images showing two aircraft carriers, the USS Carl Vinson and the USS Abraham Lincoln, conducting exercises alongside assault ships and a Japanese destroyer in the Philippine Sea. The Chinese flights occurred shortly after the exercises, which lasted six days. The Navy released a statement on Monday confirming that the two carrier strike groups will continue to carry out exercises in the region to demonstrate its capabilities.