Taipei, Taiwan (CNN)Taiwan has reported a record number of incursions by Chinese warplanes into its air defense identification zone (ADIZ) for the second day in a row, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense said on Saturday night.
The self-governing island said a total of 39 Chinese military aircraft entered the ADIZ on Saturday, one more than the 38 planes it spotted on Friday.
The 38 and 39 planes respectively are the highest number of incursions Taiwan has reported in a day since it began publicly reporting such activities last year.
The incursions on Saturday came in two batches — 20 planes during daytime hours and 19 planes at night, the ministry said in two statements. They were made by 26 J-16 fighter jets, 10 Su-30 fighter jets, two Y-8 anti-submarine warning aircraft and one KJ-500 airborne early warning and control plane, the Defense Ministry said.
In response to the incursions, the Taiwanese air force scrambled aircraft, issued radio warnings, and deployed air defense missiles systems, the ministry added.
Maps provided by the Taiwan Defense Ministry showed all of the Chinese flights on Saturday were in the extreme southwestern part of the island’s ADIZ.
The incursions did not violate Taiwan’s airspace, which extends 12 nautical miles from its coast. The US Federal Aviation Administration defines an ADIZ as “a designated area of airspace over land or water within which a country requires the immediate and positive identification, location and air traffic control of aircraft in the interest of the country’s national security.”
Before the past two days, the previous single-day record for People’s Liberation Army (PLA) flights into Taiwan’s ADIZ was in June, when 28 Chinese military planes entered.
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US ‘very concerned’ about China’s ‘provocative military activity near Taiwan’
The State Department said on Sunday that the U.S. is “very concerned” about China’s “provocative military activity near Taiwan” following Beijing’s most recent show of air power near the self-governing island.
“The United States is very concerned by the People’s Republic of China’s provocative military activity near Taiwan, which is destabilizing, risks miscalculations, and undermines regional peace and stability. We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure and coercion against Taiwan,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement.
On Friday, China flew 38 military aircraft into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone, believed to be Beijing’s largest military provocation seen yet.
On Saturday, it sent 30 warplanes toward Taiwan.
Since the beginning of the year, China has continuously flown military aircrafts into Taiwanese airspace as part of its ramped-up efforts to strengthen its territorial claim over the island.
“China has been wantonly engaged in military aggression, damaging regional peace,” said Taiwan Premier Su Tseng-chang on Saturday.
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Source: the Hill