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A formation of H-6K bombers flying over Beijing in October 2019. Photo: Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

At least 20 Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan's air space on Friday, according to Taiwan's defense ministry.

Why it matters: It is the largest incursion by China's air force since Taiwan's defense ministry has announced almost daily Chinese military exercises into its air space, per Reuters.

  • A person familiar with Taiwan’s defense planning told Reuters that the Chinese military was simulating an operation against U.S. warships sailing through the Bashi Channel.
  • China has said the exercises are meant to show its determination to defend the island, which it considers part of Chinese territory, though Taiwan's status is one of the most sensitive political issues between Washington and Beijing.

The big picture: Friday's exercises involved four H-6K bombers, which have nuclear strike capabilities, 10 J-16 fighter jets and six other military planes.

  • Taiwan said it warned the planes by radio that they were violating its airspace and deployed air defense missile systems to "monitor the activity" of the flight after the aircraft did not change course.

Go deeper

Mar 26, 2021 - World

China retaliates after sanctions by U.K. over Xinjiang abuses

Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

China sanctioned individuals and entities in the United Kingdom on Thursday, claiming they "maliciously spread lies and disinformation" on Chinese government human rights abuses against Uyghur Muslims, the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement.

Why it matters: The sanctions come after the U.S., U.K., European Union and Canada this week coordinated sanctions against Chinese officials involved in human rights abuses against Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang region.

Wildfires ravage communities in Northern California as thousands evacuate

Firefighters monitoring the scene as flames from the Dixie Fire jump across highway 89 near Greenville, California, on Tuesday. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

Two massive California wildfires have triggered new mandatory evacuation orders for thousands of people and destroyed homes and businesses in the state's north overnight.

Details: The Dixie Fire, California's biggest blaze, razed houses and businesses as it ripped through the town of Greenville and surrounding areas in Plumas County Wednesday night. The rapidly spreading River Fire burned "multiple" homes as it tore through Placer and Nevada counties, KOVR notes.

Updated 2 hours ago - Sports

Olympics dashboard

The U.S. women's team celebrates during a game against the Netherlands on July 30, 2021 in Yokohama, Japan. Photo: Logan Beerman/ISI Photos/Getty Images

⚽: U.S. women's soccer team beats Australia, wins bronze

🥇: Ryan Crouser breaks his own Olympic shot put record to win gold for U.S.

🛶: U.S. teenager Nevin Harrison wins first Olympic women's canoe 200m

🏐: U.S. Olympic beach volleyball duo one step away from realizing gold medal dream

📷: In photos: Tokyo Olympics day 13 highlights

Go deeper: Full Axios coverage