Taipei [Taiwan], April 13 (ANI): Taiwan has reported the biggest incursion by Chinese warplanes as over two dozen Chinese aircrafts entered the Taiwanese air defence zone on Monday.
In the People's Liberation Army Air Force's (PLAAF) biggest incursion so far this year, 22 warplanes, including 14 Shenyang J-16 fighter jets, four Chengdu J-10 fighters, and four Xian H-6 bombers entered the southwest corner of Taiwan's air defence identification zone (ADIZ), Taiwan News reported citing Taiwanese Ministry of National Defense (MND).
In addition, three slower turboprops -- two Shaanxi Y-8 anti-submarine warfare planes and one Shaanxi KJ-500 airborne early warning and control aircraft -- were also tracked in the zone.
Air defence identification zones are early warning systems that help countries detect incursions into their airspace.
Any aircraft entering such an area is supposed to report its route and purpose to the "host" nation, though the zones are classified as international airspace and pilots are not legally bound to make such a notification.
In response, Taiwan scrambled jets issued radio warnings and deployed air defence missile systems to track the PLAAF planes. Monday's 25 planes comprised the largest incursion since March 26, when Beijing sent 20 aircraft into Taiwan's ADIZ.
It came just three days after the US issued new guidelines that will deepen its ties with Taiwan.
The latest guidelines from the US State Department will mean American officials can meet more freely with their Taiwanese counterparts.
Washington's Secretary of State Antony Blinken said last Friday that the US is concerned about China's aggressive actions against Taiwan - and warned it would be a "serious mistake" for anyone to try to change the status quo in the Western Pacific by force.
Since mid-September of last year, Beijing has stepped up its gray-zone tactics by regularly sending planes into Taiwan's ADIZ, with most instances occurring in the southwest corner of the zone and usually consisting of one to three slow-flying turboprop planes.
Over the past few months, Taiwan has reported incursion by Chinese warplanes into ADIZ almost daily. On March 26, Taiwan reported the incursion of 20 Chinese warplanes.
Last month, Taiwanese premier Su Tseng-chang termed the incursion by Chinese warplanes into Taiwan's Air Defense Identification Zone (ADZ) as "unnecessary" and "thoughtless". Beijing claims full sovereignty over Taiwan, a democracy of almost 24 million people located off the southeastern coast of mainland China, despite the fact that the two sides have been governed separately for more than seven decades.
Taipei, on the other hand, has countered the Chinese aggression by increasing strategic ties with democracies including the US, which has been repeatedly opposed by Beijing.
China has threatened that "Taiwan's independence" means war.
Wu Qian, spokesperson of China's Ministry of National Defence, on January 28 "warned" the people wanting "Taiwan independence" and had said "those who play with fire will set themselves on fire, and seeking 'Taiwan independence' means nothing but war". (ANI)