Taiwan condemns Chinese military aircraft in its airspace

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said Chinese military planes entered its airspace, condemning the move as a provocation.

The ministry said the Chinese fighter jet crossed the center line of the Taiwan Strait and entered Taiwan airspace on Friday morning.

Ministry officials did not specify the number of planes, the type or their flight paths.

The Taiwanese military said it kicked out the Chinese plane while monitoring the situation with a ground-based air defense missile system.

The center line is an unofficial buffer to help avoid accidental clashes between Chinese and Taiwanese forces.

Taiwan’s foreign ministry also accused Beijing of exerting military pressure on Taiwan, before senior diplomats from the United States and China met.

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry also confirmed on Friday that Chinese military aircraft, including J-16 fighters, entered its air defense identification zone nine times.

The move came as President Tsai Ing-wen was meeting with US Senator Rick Scott, who is visiting Taiwan in hopes of further deepening US-Taiwanese relations.

Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian condemned the senator’s visit. He posted a comment saying the U.S. side’s decision “severely damaged” China-US relations and “seriously escalated regional tensions across the Taiwan Strait.”

The spokesperson also said the Chinese military’s Eastern Theater Command recently conducted military patrols and combat training exercises in the waters and airspace around Taiwan.