Johnson urged to 'stand up' to China over Taiwan by Armstrong

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Chinese-claimed Taiwan has complained for a year or more of repeated missions by China’s air force near the democratically governed island, often in the southwestern part of its air defence zone close to the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands. But since Friday, when China marked its national day, the country has embarked upon a massive ramping up of its missions, with almost 150 aircraft flying into the defence zone over the space of four days.

The latest mission included 34 J-16 fighters and 12 nuclear-capable H-6 bombers, which all flew in an area in the vicinity of the Pratas Islands, according to a map provided by the ministry.

Taiwanese fighter jets scrambled to warn away the Chinese planes, while missile systems were deployed to monitor them, it added.

The United States on Sunday urged China to stop its “provocative” military activities near Taiwan, while the island’s government has also condemned Beijing.

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KEY EVENTS

  • Chinese planes may have been conducting simulated attacks15:22
  • China accused of destabilising the region

    The US Department of Defense has spoken out after it was reported 52 Chinese aircraft had entered Taiwan’s air defence zone

    Japan and US carry out multinational joint exercises

    The carrier the USS Ronald Reagan entered the South China Sea late last month. On Monday Japan’s defence ministry said that ship, along with another carrier the USS Carl Vinson, had carried out multinational joint exercises in waters southwest of Okinawa, though it gave no exact location.

    Okinawa is home to a major U.S. military base and lies just to the northeast of Taiwan.

    The start of China’s activities might also be deliberately timed as “intimidation” before Japan unveiled a cabinet under new prime minister Fumio Kishida, the source added. Kishida unveiled his Cabinet earlier on Monday.

    A Japanese defence ministry official declined to comment.

    Chinese planes may have been conducting simulated attacks

    A Taiwan-based source familiar with security matters in the region told Reuters earlier on Monday the Chinese planes were possibly conducting simulated attacks on US carrier fleets, drills the source said that China has repeatedly carried out near Taiwan in the past few months.

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