Amid reports that US soldiers are setting up a “training camp” in Taiwan, the self-ruled island nation said on Friday that at least seven Chinese military jets crossed into its airspace which were given radio warnings.
In a statement, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said seven aircraft of the People’s Liberation Army entered Taiwan’s southwest air defense identification zone (ADIZ).
The ADIZ is a buffer zone outside a country’s airspace, where it has the right to ask incoming aircraft to identify themselves.
In the past three days, including on Friday, 20 Chinese jets crossed into the ADIZ, the ministry said.
The ministry said the Chinese planes were given radio warnings and monitored by military patrol planes and air defense systems.
Hectic air activity across the Taiwan Strait has continued in recent months, with scores of Chinese jets entering the zone and keeping Taipei on edge.
Early today, reports emerged that American troops are setting up a “training ground” in Taiwan to train Taiwanese soldiers on how to operate the M1A2T Abrams tank.
US military instructors have reached the island nation to train Taiwanese soldiers in maintenance, training, fortifications, simulator purchasing, and other projects including code development.
Last year, President Tsai Ing-wen had for the first-time confirmed deployment of US troops on the island that China considers its “breakaway province.” Taipei has insisted on independence since 1949.
The US soldiers had landed in Taiwan “for a brief period” in late 2020.
Tensions have been heightened since last October when Beijing celebrated its anniversary, and in the days that followed, numerous Chinese warplanes flew into the ADIZ.
Exchanges between Washington and Taipei have increased since the Trump administration, while the Biden administration has sent several delegations to the island nation and continues to sell arms to Taiwan, triggering sharp reactions from Beijing.
Chinese-US relations are guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, a 1979 law, regulated by what is known as the Three Communiques, under which Washington will abide by the so-called “One China” policy, with Taiwan as part of mainland China.