Day after budget boost, China enters Taiwan air defence zone

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TAIPEI: Taiwan’s air force scrambled on Friday to warn away 10 Chinese aircraft that entered its air defence zone, Taiwan’s defence ministry said, the day after the island announced a $9 billion boost to military spending to counter the threat from China.

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The Chinese mission involved 6 J-16 and 2 J-11 fighters, one anti-submarine and one reconnaissance aircraft, the Taiwan ministry said.

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Chinese-claimed Taiwan has complained for a year or more of repeated missions by China’s air force near the democratically governed island, often in the southwestern part of its air defence zone close to the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands.

The latest Chinese mission involved 6 J-16 and 2 J-11 fighters plus one anti-submarine and one reconnaissance aircraft, the Taiwan ministry said. Taiwan sent combat aircraft to warn away the Chinese aircraft, while missile systems were deployed to monitor them, the ministry said.

The Chinese fighters flew in an area close to the Pratas, while the anti-submarine and reconnaissance aircraft flew into the Bashi Channel that separates Taiwan from the Philippines, according to a map that the ministry issued.

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