Taiwan, China’s claimant, has complained that the Chinese Air Force has made a series of voyages for a year or more near the democratically governed island, mostly in the southwestern part of its air defense zone, or near the ADIZ near Taiwan’s controlled Pradas Islands.
Taiwan calls China’s continued military operations in the “gray zone” war, which is designed to weaken Taiwan’s forces by repeatedly fighting and testing Taiwan’s responses.
The Taiwanese ministry said the latest Chinese mission would include 18 fighter jets and five nuclear-capable H-6 bombers, as well as an unusual Y-20 jet refueling aircraft.
According to a map provided by the ministry, the bombers and six militants flew into the Bashi Canal, which separates the southern island of Taiwan from the Philippines, and then returned to China for the Pacific.
Those planes, along with refueling aircraft, refueled China’s short-range fighter jets, and the country’s air force is still trying to push more power off the coast of China.
Taiwan sent warplanes to warn Chinese planes, while missile systems were used to monitor them, the ministry said.
There has been no immediate comment from China, which has said in the past that such actions are exercises aimed at protecting the country’s sovereignty.
However, Chinese state media reported that President Xi Jinping held a three-day meeting with top officials of the country, which ended on Sunday, to discuss how to further strengthen the armed forces through skills development.
Although his comments did not directly address Taiwan, Xi emphasized the need to modernize the military in order to win wars.
“Great efforts are needed to strengthen scientific and technical literacy and to improve the actual ability to win modern wars,” the official Xinhua news agency quoted Xi as saying.
“It is necessary to encourage and guide officers and soldiers to strengthen their practical experience, to enjoy the wind and rain, to see the world, to strengthen their muscles and bones, and to develop their skills in fiery military practice.”