Taiwan scrambles warplanes as China holds aerial drills nearby
Taiwan's air force has scrambled its jet fighters for a second consecutive day as numerous Chinese warplanes crossed the sensitive midline of the Taiwan Strait, with Taipei’s officials urging Beijing to "pull back from the edge."
Taiwan's Defense Ministry declared on Saturday that 19 Chinese aircraft took part in the aerial drill, some of which crossed the so-called median line dividing the Strait and entered Taiwan's southwest air defense identification zone (ADIZ).
It further said China, which regards Taiwan as its own territory, deployed 12 J-16 fighters, two J-10 fighters, two J-11 fighters, two H-6 bombers and one Y-8 anti-submarine aircraft for the maneuver, but none got close to mainland Taiwan itself or flew over it.
"ROCAF scrambled fighters, and deployed air defense missile system to monitor the activities," the ministry also wrote in a Twitter message, referring to the Republic of China Air Force, the formal name of Taiwan's air force.
This is while Beijing had announced during a press conference on Friday China's UN peacekeeping efforts as well as its combat drills near the Taiwan Strait while censuring what it described as collusion between Taipei and Washington following a visit to the island territory by a senior US diplomat that enraged China.