Chinese jets conducted multiple drills near Taiwan airspace

Vastavam web: Chinese jets conducted drills near Taiwan’s airspace today for the sixth time this month, as relations between the two rivals worsen.China sees self-governed Taiwan as part of its territory to be reunified at some point by military force, if necessary.The two sides split after a civil war in 1949. Although Taiwan is a self-ruling democracy, it has never formally declared independence.”China’s long-distance (drills) have become more frequent,” it said, but urged Taiwanese people not to worry.

It added that it would dispatch its own aircraft and ships to monitor drills “according to protocol”.Relations between Taipei and Beijing have rapidly deteriorated since the inauguration last year of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, who refuses to acknowledge both sides are part of “one China”.Local media reports estimate Chinese warplanes have conducted drills around Taiwan at least 20 times this year, compared with a total of eight times last year.A spokesman for China’s air force said last week that bombers and reconnaissance planes had been deployed near Taiwan for “island encirclement patrols” on December 11 in routine training drills.In August a Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan’s air defence identification zone (ADIZ) during a drill, prompting Taiwan to urge restraint.The ADIZ stretches beyond Taiwan’s airspace and is used to give early warning of possible incursions.