Taiwan reports ‘record number’ of Chinese jets in its air defence zone

Some 28 Chinese military aircraft flew into Taiwan’s air defence zone on Tuesday, said its defence ministry, the largest reported incursion so far.

Fighters and nuclear-capable bombers were among those in the so-called air defence identification zone (ADIZ).

The incident comes after Nato leaders on Monday warned of the military challenge posed by China.

While democratic Taiwan sees itself as a sovereign state, Beijing views the island as a breakaway province.

According to Taipei, the Chinese mission included 14 J-16, six J-11 fighters, four nuclear capable H-6 bombers as well as anti-submarine, electronic warfare and early warning aircraft.

An air defence identification zone is an area outside of a country’s territory and national airspace but where foreign aircraft are still identified, monitored, and controlled in the interest of national security. It is self-declared and technically remains international airspace.

The Chinese aircraft flew close to the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands, as well as around the southern part of Taiwan itself.