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Chinese fighter jets buzz for Taiwan for a second day as tensions rise

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Chinese fighter jets approached Taiwan on Thursday for a second day in a row, the island’s defense ministry said, calling on China to stop “destroying regional peace” by further escalating tensions in the sensitive Taiwan Strait.

China, which claims to be Taiwan’s own territory, has conducted numerous military exercises up and down the coast and near the island in recent weeks.

The defense ministry said Su-30 fighter jets and Y-8 transport planes were among Chinese planes that entered Taiwan’s air identification zone in the southwest on Thursday morning.

“The Ministry of Defense has once again called on the Chinese Communist Party not to repeatedly destroy regional peace and stability,”

; it said, adding that the action had caused antipathy among the people of Taiwan.

Taiwan has boarded planes to intercept Chinese planes, the ministry added, saying it was able to quickly track “enemy movements.”

The Chinese Ministry of Defense did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Taiwan has repeatedly complained that China, which does not rule out the use of force to bring the democratic island under its control, has stepped up military threats in recent months as the world tackles the coronavirus pandemic.

Beijing regularly says such exercises are not uncommon and are intended to show a determination to defend its sovereignty.

Taiwan is testing live firearms off its southeast and east coasts.

Taiwanese President Cai Ying-wen has warned of a growing risk of accidental conflicts in and around the disputed South China Sea, saying communication must be maintained to reduce the risk of miscalculations.

Reporting by Yimou Lee and Ben Blanchard; Edited by Michael Perry

Our standards:The Thomson Reuters Confidence Principles.

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