HONG KONG /XIANGGANG/, November 20. /TASS/. Taiwan has reported the approach of 21 Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft and seven People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) warships in the region adjacent to the island, Taiwan’s defense department said in a statement.
According to it, "21 PLA aircraft and 7 PLAN vessels around Taiwan were detected by 6 a.m. (10 p.m. GMT) today."
The statement said that nine aircraft "crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait and entered Taiwan’s southwest air defense identification zone." The aircraft were six Su-30 fighters, two J-10 jets and one Y-9 aircraft.
According to the statement, Taiwan's army tasked aircraft, ships and land-based anti-aircraft missile systems to monitor the targets.
The Taiwan Air Defense Identification Zone is unilaterally declared by the island and covers an area of 492,000 square kilometers, far exceeding the island's airspace. It also covers the surrounding waters, the Taiwan Strait and part of the airspace over the mainland Chinese provinces of Fujian, Jiangxi and Zhejiang.
Taiwan's military said on September 18 that it had detected 103 Chinese PLA aircraft near the island, marking the largest such operation since at least August 2022. According to an annual report released last week by Taiwan’s defense department, Chinese PLA aircraft and PLAN vessels have been crossing the median line and entering the island’s air defense identification zone much more frequently since early August 2022, when the then Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, visited Taipei.
Taiwan, China’s largest island, has been governed by its local administration since 1949. Official Beijing considers Taiwan a province of the People’s Republic of China. Washington remains Taipei’s key supplier of weapons and military hardware.