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Taiwan detects 13 Chinese military aircraft, nine naval vessels near its territory

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Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence (MND) has said that 13 Chinese military aircraft and nine Chinese naval vessels were detected operating around Taiwan from 6 am (local time) on Monday to 9 am (local time) on Tuesday.

Of the 13 Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft, 9 crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait and entered the Southwest and Southeast parts of Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), according to Taiwan’s MND. In response to China’s action, Taiwan’s armed forces monitored the situation and responded accordingly.

In a post on X, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence stated, “13 #PLA aircraft and 9 PLAN vessels operating around #Taiwan were detected up until 6 a.m. (UTC+8) today. 9 of the aircraft crossed the median line of the #Taiwan Strait and entered Taiwan’s SW and SE ADIZ. #ROCArmedForces have monitored the situation and responded accordingly.”

So far in June, Taiwan has detected Chinese military aircraft 109 times and naval/coast guard vessels 102 times, Taiwan News reported. Since September 2020, China has intensified its use of gray zone tactics by increasing the number of military aircraft and naval ships operating around Taiwan.

Gray zone tactics are “an effort or series of efforts beyond steady-state deterrence and assurance that attempts to achieve one’s security objectives without resort to direct and sizable use of force,” Taiwan News reported.

This latest incident adds to a series of similar provocations by China in recent months, as Beijing continues to flex its military muscles and assert its dominance in the region.

Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China, has long been a contentious issue in China’s foreign policy, with Beijing considering the island as its territory that must be reunified with the mainland, if necessary by force.

Meanwhile, Taiwan Army’s Kinmen Defence Command said on June 8 that it will take countermeasures in accordance with drone regulations after a Chinese TikTok video claimed that drones would be flown to Kinmen to drop propaganda leaflets.

The decision comes after two unidentified persons said they would deliver leaflets near the Mashan observation post on Kinmen to “send warmth to the Taiwanese troops”, Taiwan News reported, citing Kinmen Defence Command press release.

After reviewing the video, the Taiwanese military said that no drones flew near the camp area. The Kinmen Defense Command said some Chinese individuals with unclear motives did not consider the effect of fueling resentment among the Taiwanese and frayed cross-strait relations.

The command said that these people intend to gain the attention of the media and increase social media traffic or popularity, adding that their behaviour and mindset are not to be condoned.

According to the Command statement, the Taiwan military closely monitors enemy threats and does not give in to the “frivolous actions of Chinese netizens.” It further said that camouflaging weapons, equipment and facilities on Kinmen has been completed.