China sends 19 fighter jets towards Taiwan in show of force

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TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — China has sent 19 fighter jets toward Taiwan in a large display of force. The move comes after the self-governing island announced its intention to join an 11-nation Pacific trade group that China has also applied to join. The island’s Defense Ministry said in a statement Thursday that it deployed air patrol forces in response to the Chinese jets and tracked them on their air defense systems. China has sent fighter jets toward Taiwan on an almost daily basis this past year. Taiwan and China split during a civil war in 1949, but China continues to claim Taiwan as part of its territory. Beijing opposes Taiwan’s involvement in international bodies.

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