Taiwan scrambles jets 17 times as China buzzes island in anger at US official’s visit

Jets were scrambled from air bases around Taiwan at least 17 times this morning after multiple incursions into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) by Chinese military aircraft.

The Chinese Communist Party has expressed its anger over the visit of US Undersecretary for Economic Affairs, Keith Krach, marking the highest level official to visit Taiwan since the US broke diplomatic relations in 1979.

China’s Defense Ministry spokesperson Ren Guoqiang announced this morning that combat drills would be carried out in the Taiwan Strait as a “reasonable, necessary action aimed at the current situation.”

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said 18 Chinese aircraft were involved today.

“September 18, two H-6 bombers, eight J-16 fighters, four J-10 fighters and four J-11 fighters crossed the midline of the TaiwanStrait and entered Taiwan’s southwest ADIZ,” the ministry said in an English-language statement on Twitter.

The Chinese aircraft appeared in the southwest, west, north, and northwest of Taiwan’s ADIZ, and the centerline of the Taiwan Strait was crossed multiple times.

F-16 fighters dispatched from Hualien Airbase were seen armed with AIM-120 advanced medium missiles, and Sidewinder missiles, according to Liberty Times.

Lieutenant General Chen Guohua, director of the Air Force’s political warfare, said “the situation in the southwest airspace is indeed more tense than before. We have also strengthened reconnaissance and search. The Air Force will definitely have control over and respond appropriately.” according to SETN.

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