Taiwan’s air force scrambled on Sunday, as 19 Chinese aircraft, including nuclear-capable bombers, had flown into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone.
Taiwan’s Defence Ministry said the latest Chinese mission involved 10 J-16 and four Su-30 fighters, including four H-6 bombers, which can carry nuclear weapons, and an anti-submarine aircraft.
The ministry said it dispatched Taiwanese combat aircraft to warn the Chinese aircraft and deployed missile systems to track and monitor the Chinese activity.
The ministry also provided a map where the aircraft flew, northeast of the Pratas Islands.
Early this year, China carried out repeated air missions near the Pratas Islands, lying roughly between southern Taiwan and Hong Kong, which security experts consider vulnerable to Chinese attack because of their distance from mainland Taiwan.
Taiwan’s defense ministry warned last week that the threat from China was growing, and it could paralyze the island’s defenses in a conflict.
China has not yet commented on its latest aircraft launch but in the past described its activities as necessary to protect the country’s sovereignty and deal with “collusion” between Taipei and Washington, NBC reported.
Late last month, a U.S. warship and a U.S. Coast Guard cutter sailed through the Taiwan Strait.
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