HONG KONG/XIANGGANG/, July 8. /TASS/. At least nine aircraft of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army entered Taiwan’s self-declared air defense identification zone, the island’s Defense Ministry reported on Friday.
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said that the Chinese warplanes flew around the waters southwest of the island. The maneuvers involved two Y-8 electronic surveillance aircraft, four J-16 jets, two J-10 fighters and one J-11 plane. In response, the Taiwanese military issued radio warnings and deployed air defense missile systems.
Chinese warplanes have been regularly entering Taiwan’s air defense identification zone lately, holding drills in the region. China’s current maneuvers are linked to the visit by US Senator Rick Scott of Florida to Taiwan. He held meetings with the island’s leadership on July 8.
In this regard, China’s Defense Ministry expressed its resolute protest, stressing that the Chinese armed forces were ready for military operations "to defend the national sovereignty."
Air defense zone
The concept of an air defense zone for identifying aircraft is not defined under international law. The extension of these zones is declared by particular countries or regions and is not necessarily limited to their boundaries. Taiwan declared its air defense identification zone unilaterally: its area covers 492 square kilometers and considerably exceeds the island’s airspace. It also spans the waters around it, the Taiwan Strait and also part of the airspace over the provinces of Fujian, Jiangxi and Zhejiang of mainland China.
Taiwan has been governed by its local administration since 1949 when the Kuomintang’s remaining forces headed by Chiang Kai-shek (1887-1975) were defeated in the Chinese Civil War and took refuge on the island. Taiwan has preserved the flag and several other symbols of the Republic of China that had existed before the Communists took over the mainland. According to China’s official position supported by most countries, including Russia, the Island of Taiwan is one of China’s provinces.