Taipei (AP): China sent 25 fighter jets toward self-ruled Taiwan in a large display of force on China’s National Day Friday.

The People’s Liberation Army flew 18 J-16 fighter jets as well as two H-6 bombers, among other planes. Taiwan deployed air patrol forces in response and tracked the Chinese aircraft on its air defense systems, the island’s defence ministry said in a statement.

China has sent planes toward the island it claims as part of its territory on a near daily basis in the last couple of years, stepping up military harassment with drills.

Last week, the PLA flew 24 fighter jets toward Taiwan after it announced it would apply to join a Pacific trade group that China also applied to join.

Taiwan and China split during a civil war in 1949, and China has not ruled out force to reunify with Taiwan. Beijing opposes Taiwan’s involvement in international organisations. (AP)

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