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Chinese warplanes fly toward Taiwan for 2nd straight day

FILE -In this undated file photo released by the Taiwan Ministry of Defense, a Chinese PLA J-16 fighter jet flies in an undisclosed location. China flew more than 30 military planes toward Taiwan on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, the second large display of force in as many days. (Taiwan Ministry of Defense via AP, File)
FILE -In this undated file photo released by the Taiwan Ministry of Defense, a Chinese PLA J-16 fighter jet flies in an undisclosed location. China flew more than 30 military planes toward Taiwan on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, the second large display of force in as many days. (Taiwan Ministry of Defense via AP, File)

TAIPEI – China flew more than 30 military planes toward Taiwan on Saturday, the second large display of force in as many days.

Taiwan's Defense Ministry said 39 aircraft entered Taiwan's air defense identification zone in two sorties, one during the day and one at night. That followed a similar pattern on Friday, when 38 planes flew into the area south of the self-governing island.

China claims Taiwan, which lies off its east coast, as its territory. The two split in 1949 during a civil war in which the Communists took control of mainland China and the rival Nationalists set up a government on Taiwan. The Communist Party marked the 72nd anniversary of its rule on Friday.

Taiwan’s premier, Su Tseng-chang, spoke out on Saturday against the first day's flights.

“China has always conducted brutal and barbarian actions to jeopardize regional peace," he said while attending the opening ceremony of a science park in southern Taiwan.

China has been sending military planes into the area south of Taiwan on a frequent basis for more than a year. The 38 and 39 planes on Friday and Saturday were the most in a single day since Taiwan began releasing reports on the flights, Taiwan's Central News Agency said.

The Defense Ministry said 20 planes took part in the daytime flights on Saturday and another 19 at night. It identified most of them as J-17 and SU-30 fighter jets.