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62 Chinese aircraft detected around Taiwan for military drills

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Taiwan’s defence ministry said Friday night that 62 Chinese aircraft were detected around the island during the second day of Beijing’s military drills.

The two-day war games kicked off Thursday morning, with Beijing vowing the blood of “independence forces” would flow as it surrounded self-ruled Taiwan with naval vessels and military aircraft.

China claims the island as part of its territory, and the military drills came days after Taiwan’s President Lai Ching-te was sworn into office.

On Friday, Taipei’s defence ministry said that since 7:14 am (2314 Thursday), it had detected 62 aircraft, including fighter jets, bombers and transport patrol planes around Taiwan.

This is the highest number of aircraft seen this year in a 24-hour window.

Among the 62 aircraft, “47 sorties crossed the median line and entered Taiwan’s northern, central and southern ADIZ (air defence identification zone) to collaborate with 27 naval vessels and coast guard ships in military exercises,” the ministry said.

On the first day of the drills — dubbed “Joint Sword-2024A” — Taipei detected 49 Chinese aircraft around Taiwan.

A Chinese military spokesman had said the war games were meant to test the “capability of joint seizure of power, joint strikes and control of key territories”.

China called Lai’s inaugural speech — made Monday after he was sworn into office — a “confession of independence”.

The 64-year-old, described as a “dangerous separatist” by Beijing, had called on the Taiwanese to “safeguard our nation”.

“We must demonstrate our resolution to defend our nation,” he said, warning that Taiwan “must not harbour any delusions” about Beijing’s goal of claiming the island.


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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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