This comes just hours after a Mirage 2000 fighter jet of the Taiwanese air force crashed into the sea during a training flight.
The Taiwanese air force was scrambled to ward off thirteen Chinese aircraft that entered its air defence zone, Taiwan’s Defence Ministry said. Earlier on Monday, a Taiwanese Mirage 2000 fighter crashed into the sea during a training flight, but the pilot managed to escape, the office of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said. Taiwan has been governed independently from mainland China since 1949, but Beijing sees it as a breakaway province. China has repeatedly condemned US assistance to the government in Taipei as interference in the country’s domestic affairs.
Since Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine on 24 February, speculation has increased among some Western politicians and analysts that China could undertake a similar step against Taiwan. Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi has rejected such allegations, stressing that Russia’s operation to demilitarise and de-Nazify Ukraine and China’s intention to peacefully unify with Taiwan “are not comparable at all”.