1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Taiwan sees single-day record of Chinese planes in airspace

July 11, 2024

Taiwan reported an increase in Chinese airforce activity, detecting 66 Chinese planes around the island in a single-day record for this year.

A warplane of the Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) conducts operations around Taiwan in 2022
Taiwan's defense ministry said 56 of the planes crossed the median line of the Taiwan StraitImage: Hua Junxiao/Xinhua/picture alliance

Taiwan's defense ministry has reported a surge of Chinese military aircraft around the self-ruled island, a day after Beijing reportedly conducted military drills with an aircraft carrier in nearby waters.

The ministry on Thursday said it had detected 66 Chinese military aircraft operating around Taiwan in the past 24 hours, making it a record high this year.

"66 PLA aircraft and seven PLAN vessels operating around Taiwan were detected up until 6 am (2200 GMT Wednesday) today," the defense ministry said in its statement.

As per the ministry, 56 of the planes crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait, entering Taiwan's northern, southwestern and southeastern air defense identification zone (ADIZ).

Seven Chinese navy vessels were also detected operating around Taiwan on Wednesday, the ministry added.

China conducting drills with carrier: Taiwan

On Wednesday, the Taiwanese defense ministry had reported 36 warplanes on the way to the Western pacific to conduct joint exercises with the Chinese aircraft carrier the Shandong.

The carrier — commissioned by China in 2019— passed close to the northern Philippines on its way to the drills, Taiwanese Defense Minister Wellington Koo said.

The previous record of Chinese military planes around Taiwan was in May, when Beijing sent 62 military aircraft and 27 naval vessels.

It came in the middle of military exercises Beijing launched after Taiwan President Lai Ching-te took office.

China regards Lai as a "dangerous separatist."

How can Taiwan defend itself from China?

On Thursday, Taiwan's defense ministry said it was keeping a close watch on Chinese military movements around the island, including aircraft and vessels taking part in the drills with the Shandong.

China claims democratically-governed Taiwan as part of its territory.

Taipei has reported repeated Chinese military activity in the last four years as Beijing steps up pressure on the island.

dvv/wd (AFP, Reuters, dpa)