Since Thursday 5 a.m. local time (11 p.m. Paris time), "a total of 37 Chinese fighter jets" have entered - in the space of six hours - the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ, for Air Defense Identification Zone, in English) of Taiwan, spokesman for the Taiwanese Ministry of National Defense, Sun Li-fang, announced Thursday, June 8. "Some continued to the Western Pacific for long-range reconnaissance training," he said.
An ADIZ is a large area defined unilaterally by countries and in which they require, for reasons of national security, that foreign aircraft identify themselves. But relations between Beijing and Taipei, at their lowest since Xi Jinping came to power more than a decade ago, have deteriorated further in recent years, and China has stepped up military incursions around the island.
Patrol aircraft, warships and land-based missiles deployed
Since the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949, China has viewed Taiwan as a province that it has yet to successfully reunify with the rest of its territory, and Beijing is aiming for that reunification – by force if necessary.
While not the largest number of Chinese incursions into Taiwan's ADIZ this year - 45 Chinese planes entered it on April 9 - Thursday's wave occurred in a very short time frame. short.
The Taiwan military is "monitoring the situation closely," the ministry said on Twitter, adding that patrol aircraft, warships and land-based missile systems have been deployed in response.
Thursday's incursions come a day after the completion of the first joint U.S.-Japanese-Philippine Coast Guard exercises in the South China Sea.