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Taiwan Feeling ‘Considerable Pressure’ As China Warplanes Train Nearby

Taiwan’s defense chief said on Tuesday that recent Chinese military flights near the island were placing “considerable pressure” on the country’s troops, as large waves of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft conducted daily training operations started on October 1.

The latest escalation of military signaling coincided with the 72nd anniversary of the People’s Republic of China last Friday, when Taiwan detected 38 PLA aircraft inside its air defense identification zone (ADIZ). On Monday, that figure jumped to 56, bringing the monthly tally to 149 in just four days.

An ADIZ is not part of sovereign airspace. The zone—also declared by neighbors China, Japan and South Korea—extends beyond a nation’s territorial boundaries and is used for the identification of approaching civilian and military aircraft. Taiwan’s ADIZ, which was drawn up by the United States in the 1950s, encroaches into the Chinese mainland, but Taipei only concerns itself with developments on its side of the Taiwan Strait—Taiwanese jets have not crossed the median line since 1999.

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