China's military had carried out 'combat readiness' patrols in Taiwan Strait as US Congressional delegation made a surprise visit
China's military had carried out "combat readiness" patrols in Taiwan Strait on Friday as US Congressional delegation made a surprise visit to Taipei
Taiwan's defence ministry had declared that eight Chinese air force aircraft, including two nuclear-capable H-6 bombers had flown into Taiwan's air defence zone.
Reports claimed PLA Navy’s Y-8Q aircraft had entered Taiwan's air defence zone along with Chinese warplanes.
China's Y-8Q ASW aircraft started its service with the eastern theatre command and later joined the southern theatre command.
China's state-controlled CGTN released a 60-second video showcasing the Y-8Q anti-submarine aircraft as Chinese warplanes intruded into Taiwan's air defence zone.
The indigenously built Y-8Q aircraft tracks underwater submarines and is fitted with infrared detection system and laser devices.
It reportedly has anti-submarine grenades and torpedoes. The advanced aircraft with warfare capabilities is strategically important for the PLA with tensions mounting in the South China Sea and its continued tussle with Taiwan.
According to reports, China has put the stealth bomber the J-20 into mass production even as temperatures rise in the South China Sea with the US.
The stealth fighters were earlier deployed to oversee military activities in the Taiwan Straits where the US has openly let its warships sail.
In recent decades Taiwan has found itself out-numbered and out-gunned by China's enormous People's Liberation Army.
The imbalance has been compounded by western governments becoming increasingly wary of selling it advanced weapon systems, fearful of incurring Beijing's wrath.
It has pushed Taiwan to develop its own hardware, including advanced missiles, boats and the new trainer jet.
China has ramped up fighter flights and warship crossings near Taiwan or through the Taiwan Strait since Tsai was first elected in 2016, as she has refused to acknowledge that the island is part of "one China".
A spokeswoman for Beijing's Taiwan Affairs Office said the US flight "harms our sovereignty, security and development interests, and violates basic principles of international law and international relations."
The Taiwan Affairs Office is Beijing's top-level body overseeing policy towards the self-governing democratic island, which China considers its own territory to be reunited with the mainland by force if necessary.
Chinese fighter jets and bombers have entered Taiwan's air defense zone with unprecedented frequency in recent months, while propaganda films have shown simulated attacks on Taiwan-like territories and US bases in Guam.
Foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said China would "take proper and necessary measures to firmly safeguard its national sovereignty and security interests."
The PLA had unleashed swarms of J-20 fighter jets at an unprecedented scale on during China's Communist Party celebrated its centenary celebrations last month.
Fifteen J-20 stealth fighters soared past Beijing skies in formation during the Communist Party of China's (CPC) centenary celebrations.
The event marked the largest number of warplanes exhibited by the Chinese Air Force in a single event for the general public. China has reportedly started mass production of its most sophisticated fighter jet.
The last time the J-20 fighters took to the skies in such a large formation was in 2019 during the National Day parade, however, at that time only 5 J-20 aircraft took to the skies.
The People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force had earlier announced that its Military Development Vanguard Air Group now had the J-20 fighter.
According to China's Global Times quoting Forbes, China had only 40 stealth fighter jets until last year but the US had 500 stealth planes.
China is now vying to catch up with the big powers as it joins the race to produce more fighters. It is still unknown how many warplanes the Communist country still possesses or its production capacity limit at the moment.
A test flight of China's new stealth fighter jet on January 11 overshadowed a US bid to shore up uneasy military relations, underscoring a growing rivalry between the two powers.