Taiwan scrambles jets after China planes 'breach Taiwanese airspace'

Two Chinese aircraft allegedly entered Taiwan's airspace twice on Monday

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The Independent Online

Taiwan scrambled jets after two Chinese military aircraft 'breached Taiwanese airspace'  on Monday, officials have claimed.

Taiwan said the two Chinese planes, identified as Yun-8 transport aircraft, entered the island’s air defence identification zone in the morning and afternoon on Monday.

Taiwanese planes followed the Chinese planes to make sure they left, said Xiong Ho-ji, the major general of Taiwan's Air Force Combatant Command.

An air force spokesman said they left without incident.

China rejected Taiwan's claim that two Chinese military aircraft had breached Taiwan's airspace, saying it was a "routine flight".

A spokesperson for its Defence Ministry told Reuters: "Our military aircraft carried out a routine flight on the 25th in the relevant airspace, there was no occurrence of any abnormality."

The alleged breach comes a week after the Pentagon lodged a diplomatic complaint with China about the conduct of a Chinese fighter jet, which it said ‘buzzed’ a US patrol plane.

Beijing dismissed this claim as groundless and said its pilot maintained a safe distance from the US plane.

The latest incident risked hurting ties between China and Taiwan, which have been ruled separately since defeated Nationalist forces fled to the island at the end of a civil war in 1949.