China flies 28 warplanes around Taiwan
China flew 28 warplanes around Taiwan yesterday, with most crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait for unspecified "long range" missions, Taipei authorities said. Taiwan's defence ministry said 20 of the aircraft detected since yesterday morning crossed the median line of the waterway separating Taiwan and mainland China, and entered the self-ruled island's southeast and southwest air defence identification zone. China was conducting "missions such as long range exercises and training", the defence ministry said in a statement, adding that it was monitoring the situation with patrol aircraft and ships. Beijing claims democratic Taiwan as its own territory to be seized one day, by force if necessary. It has stepped up military and diplomatic pressure on the island in recent years as relations have soured. Last week, Taipei reported an increased number of incursions by Chinese warplanes and ships, after Beijing said its troops were on "high alert" following two ships belonging to the United States and Canada transiting through the Taiwan Strait this month. Taiwan's defence ministry said 68 Chinese aircraft and 10 naval vessels were detected around the island between Wednesday morning and Thursday morning.