Taiwan reported on Thursday for the second consecutive day of Chinese fighter jets flying within the island’s air defense zone. Taiwan, considered a renegade province by China, has been complaining about Chinese military activity near the island for several years.
China calls the military activities in the area “justified”, as it thus defends its territorial integrity.
According to the Taiwanese Ministry of Defense, seventeen J-10s, a type of combat aircraft first put into service twenty years ago, and four newer and more advanced J-16s flew within the Taiwanese air defense zone on Thursday. On Wednesday, nineteen Chinese fighter jets are said to have flown within Taiwan’s air defense zone.
The United States has approved the possible sale of new weapons to Taiwan, the US Department of Defense reports. These include missiles for Taiwan’s F-16 fighter jets and AMRAAM-type medium-range missiles, the Pentagon said. The weapons are supplied by Raytheon and Lockheed Martin. The sale involved a total of 619 million dollars.
The arms sales will do little good to the already strained relationship between Washington and Beijing. China has repeatedly demanded that the US stop such arms sales. It views the supplies as unwarranted support for self-governing Taiwan, an island that China claims as its own territory. China has already imposed sanctions on several US arms manufacturers.