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39 Chinese military planes enter Taiwan’s ADIZ, research ship spotted

Survey ship sailing north along east coast might be linked to Oct. 1-15 missile tests

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J-16 fighter jets (Weixin photo). 

J-16 fighter jets (Weixin photo). 

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A total of 39 Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) Saturday (Oct. 2), the day after a record 38 planes did so, and a Chinese research ship was spotted near Orchid Island.

The Ministry of National Defense said it recorded 26 J-16 fighter jets, 10 SU-30 jets, two Y-8 anti-submarine aircraft, and 1 KJ-500 early warning aircraft violating the country’s ADIZ from the southwest during the day.

As on previous occasions, the Air Force scrambled jets, issued radio warnings to tell the Chinese aircraft to turn back, and deployed air defense missile systems.

On Friday (Oct. 1), China’s national day, the military recorded an unprecedented 38 Chinese aircraft penetrating Taiwan’s ADIZ.

In a separate development Saturday, the military said they had spotted the Chinese survey ship Xiang Yang Hong 03 sailing north 58 nautical miles east of Orchid Island late Friday. Early Saturday it was still moving in the same direction off the coast of Hualien and Yilan counties.

The appearance of the ship might have been connected to plans by Taiwan’s National Chung-Shan Institute for Science and Technology (NCSIST) to conduct six waves of missile launches between Oct. 1 and Oct. 15, CNA reported.

The firings scheduled for Oct. 6-7 featured no altitude limits and a distance of 200 kilometers, indicating they might involve the testing of newly developed projectiles, such as the extended-range Sky Bow III, the Hsiung Feng II and the Hsiung Feng III, according to military experts.