China has committed the third largest airstrike this year, according to Taiwan

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Twenty-nine Chinese warplanes invaded Taiwan’s air defense zone on Tuesday, in their third largest daily incursion this year, the island’s government said.

Taiwan lives under the constant threat of invasion from China, which sees the self-governing, democratic island as part of its territory, which it intends to eventually retake, if necessary by force.

On Tuesday, 29 Chinese planes — including 17 fighter jets and six bombers — flew into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), the Taipei Defense Ministry said.

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The ministry added that it scrambled its own planes to broadcast alerts and used air defense missile systems to track the jets.

It was the third largest daily incursion by Chinese warplanes this year, according to a database compiled by AFP, after 39 jets entered the zone on Jan. 23 and 30 jets on May 30.

The last quarter of 2021 saw a spike in ADIZ attacks, with the biggest single-day drop occurring on October 4, when 56 warplanes entered the zone.

October 2021 remains the busiest month on record, with 196 attacks, 149 of which were carried out in just four days as Beijing celebrated its annual National Day.

Since Tsai Ing-wen was elected president in 2016, China has upped the pressure as she views Taiwan as a sovereign nation.

Last year, Taiwan recorded 969 Chinese warplane deployments in its ADIZ, more than double the 380 or so recorded in 2020, according to the AFP database. The number for this year already exceeds 500.

The ADIZ is not the same as Taiwan’s territorial airspace and covers a much larger area that overlaps with part of China’s own ADIZ.

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