China steps up flights over Taiwan Straits amid soaring tensions over US ...

CHINESE fighter jets carried out sabre-rattling sorties above the Taiwan Straits on 25 days in October as tensions between Beijing and Taipei reached boiling point, according to defence officials on the island.

PUBLISHED: 20:05, Sun, Nov 1, 2020 | UPDATED: 20:13, Sun, Nov 1, 2020

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The warplanes were deployed amid a bitter row over US arms sales to the self-ruled democratic state which China views as a renegade province, to one day be brought back under its sovereignty, by force if necessary. Chinese military analysts said People's Liberation Army air patrols and drill operations in the region had now become routine.

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China could demonstrate more of its abilities

Wei Dongxu

The Taiwan airforce scrambled its own jets on a number of occasions when the Chinese fighters approached the island's self-proclaimed southwestern "air defence identification zone".

And data shows the island's defence forces use radio broadcasts to ward off the PLA warplanes no fewer than 84 times as they encroached the meridian line in the 100-mile-wide waterway between Taiwan and the mainland.

Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military expert, told China's state-run Global Times: "This shows that the Chinese mainland's military forces have made patrols in the Taiwan Straits routine and normal, and they have achieved complete monitoring of any anomaly on the island or from foreign forces that might occur.

China warplaneChina has stepped up its sorties in the Taiwan Straits (Image: GETTY)

"The mainland will adjust its activities in accordance with the situation.

"If Taiwan or foreign countries like the US conduct further military provocations, the PLA could demonstrate more of its abilities, including anti-access and seizure of aerial superiority and sea control."

Chinese defence ministry spokesman Colonel Tan Kefei said: "The PLA operations came amid America's latest weapons sales to the island, which seriously violates the one-China principle and the three China-US Joint Communiques, and severely interferes in China's internal affairs and undermines China's sovereignty and security interests."

Taiwan's defence authority said China mainly deployed its Y-8 anti-submarine warfare aircraft, Y-8 reconnaissance aircraft, and Y-8 and Y-9 electronic

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