HONG KONG /XIANGGANG/, September 21. /TASS/. Taiwan has reported the approach of 20 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, "20 PLA aircraft and seven PLAN vessels around Taiwan were detected by 6 a.m. (1:00 a.m. Moscow time)."
The department also pointed out that "ten of the detected aircraft had crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait or entered Taiwan’s north or southwest Air Defense Identification Zone." The aircraft were: two BZK-005 drones, a Z-9 anti-submarine helicopter, a Y-8 anti-submarine aircraft and six J-16 fighter jets. Taiwan's army "have monitored the situation and tasked CAP aircraft, Navy vessels, and land-based missile systems to respond these activities," the statement added.
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 army on Monday recorded 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.