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Taiwan warns Chinese aircraft flying in air defense zone day of Russia-Ukraine invasion


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Taiwan scrambled its air force Thursday as nine Chinese aircraft have entered the island nation’s air defense zone, the Taiwan Ministry of Defense announced. 

A small fleet of eight J-16 fighters and a Yun-8 technical reconnaissance aircraft breached the air space. The Taiwanese aircrafts broadcast a warning and monitored the Chinese fleet’s activities. 

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“This is not unusual,” a U.S. Defense official told Fox News. “China has done this in the past a couple months ago had similar type of events regularly.”

FILE: In this undated file photo released by the Taiwan Ministry of Defense, a Chinese PLA J-16 fighter jet flies in an undisclosed location

FILE: In this undated file photo released by the Taiwan Ministry of Defense, a Chinese PLA J-16 fighter jet flies in an undisclosed location
(Taiwan Ministry of Defense via AP)

A Defense Department spokesman said that the Pentagon is “aware of the reporting” and that the U.S. remains “concerned” by “provocative military action near Taiwan.” 

“The United States will continue to support a peaceful resolution of cross-strait issues, consistent with the wishes and best interests of the people on Taiwan,” the spokesman said, stressing that such action is “destabilizing” and undermines regional peace and stability. “Our commitment to Taiwan is rock-solid and contributes to the maintenance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and within the region.”

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The last such incursion occurred on Jan. 23 when 39 Chinese aircraft flew into the defense space, but the new fly-by occurs at a time of heightened tensions.  

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Taiwan increased its alert levels as Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine Thursday local time. China criticized the move by saying Taiwan is “not Ukraine.” 

A man (L) wearing a face mask with the image of China's President Xi Jinping joins other human rights activists holding Olympic Rings as they protest in Taipei against the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games to mark Human Rights Day on December 10, 2021. (Photo by Sam Yeh / AFP) (Photo by SAM YEH/AFP via Getty Images)

A man (L) wearing a face mask with the image of China’s President Xi Jinping joins other human rights activists holding Olympic Rings as they protest in Taipei against the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games to mark Human Rights Day on December 10, 2021. (Photo by Sam Yeh / AFP) (Photo by SAM YEH/AFP via Getty Images)
( SAM YEH/AFP)

Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Tan Kefei stressed that Taiwan was a “core issue” for China and it would tolerate no foreign interference. 

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“We urge the U.S. side to recognize the high sensitivity of the Taiwan issue, stop interfering in China’s internal affairs and stop playing with fire on the Taiwan issue,” Tan said, according to Reuters. 

And China appeared to stress that coverage of Russia’s invasion could play into helping “solve the Taiwan issue once and for all.” 

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Horizon News, a social media account belonging to CCP-owned Beijing News, appeared to accidentally post the instructions for Chinese media coverage Wednesday in a post that was later deleted. The instructions noted that no posts unfavorable to Russia or with pro-Western content should be published, according to the Washington Post. 

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