Taiwan sends jets after 27 Chinese planes enter buffer zone

Taiwan says 27 Chinese aircraft entered its air defense buffer zone in the latest in a long series of incursions as part of Beijing’s pressure on the self-ruled island

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan said 27 Chinese aircraft entered its air defense buffer zone on Sunday, the latest in a long series of incursions as part of Beijing's pressure on the self-ruled island.

Sunday’s incursion included 18 fighter jets and five H-6 bombers, as well as a Y-20 aerial refueling aircraft, according to Taiwan’s Defense Ministry.

Over the past year, the frequency of Chinese incursions has increased, with about 150 aircraft over a period of four days.

China’s air force mission toward Taiwan came as Chinese President Xi Jinping met with officers at a military conference, where he called for military talent cultivation to support and strengthen the armed forces, according to state-owned news agency Xinhua.

Xi said that talent is imperative in achieving victory in military competition and gaining the upper hand in future wars, according to Xinhua.

China claims democratically ruled Taiwan as its own territory, to be brought under its control by force if necessary. It refuses to recognize the island’s government and has increasingly sought to isolate the independence-leaning administration of President Tsai Ing-wen.

Taiwan and China split during a civil war in 1949, and Beijing opposes Taiwan’s involvement in international organizations.