In a move that was not unexpected following the conclusion of the Winter Olympics in Beijing, a city most unsuited for the event, nine Chinese fighter jets entered Taiwanese airspace forcing the island nation to put some of their own fighters in the air.
The number of aircraft involved was well off the last large-scale incursion – 39 Chinese aircraft on January 23 – and since then, such fly-bys have been sporadic with far fewer aircraft.
The ministry said the latest mission involved eight Chinese J-16 fighters and one Y-8 reconnaissance aircraft, which flew over an area to the northeast of the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands at the top end of the South China Sea.
Taiwanese fighters were sent up to warn the Chinese aircraft and air defense missiles were deployed to ‘monitor the activities, the ministry said, using standard wording for how Taiwan describes its response.
Speaking in Beijing earlier on Thursday when asked about the new U.S. Indo-Pacific strategy, Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Tan Kefei reiterated that Taiwan was a ‘core issue’ of China’s and it would tolerate no foreign interference.
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