English News

  • youtube
  • facebook
  • twitter

Taiwan detects 18 Chinese aircraft, 4 vessels near island

Representative Image (Courtesy: @Focus_Taiwan)

Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence on Saturday confirmed the detection of a significant presence of Chinese military aircraft and vessels near Taiwan.

According to the ministry’s statement, as many as 18 Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft and four People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) vessels were detected in the vicinity of Taiwan up until 6 am local time (UTC+8) that day.

Among the detected aircraft, 12 were reported to have crossed the median line and entered Taiwan’s northern and southwest Air Defence Identification Zones (ADIZ). This development marks a concerning escalation in tensions between Taiwan and China, which has long claimed sovereignty over the island.

Taiwan’s Armed Forces (ROCArmedForces) promptly responded to the situation, closely monitoring the activities of the Chinese military and taking appropriate measures in response.

“18 PLA aircraft and 4 PLAN vessels operating around Taiwan were detected up until 6 am (UTC+8) today. 12 of the aircraft crossed the median line and entered Taiwan’s northern and SW ADIZ. #ROCArmedForces have monitored the situation and responded accordingly,” said Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence on Saturday.

The increased presence of Chinese military assets near Taiwan underscores the ongoing geopolitical tensions in the region. Taiwan has frequently raised concerns about China’s military activities and its ambitions to reunify Taiwan with the mainland, by force if necessary.

The latest incident comes amid heightened scrutiny of China’s military manoeuvres in the Indo-Pacific region, with several countries expressing alarm over Beijing’s assertive behaviour. The United States, in particular, has reiterated its commitment to Taiwan’s security and has conducted regular arms sales and military exercises with the island nation.

The MND has issued daily reports on Chinese military activities for the past few years, including identifying those Chinese aircraft, drones, and balloons that are found to have crossed the Taiwan Strait median line to the Taiwan side.

The median line of the Taiwan Strait served for decades as a tacit border between China and Taiwan, but China’s military has more freely sent aircraft, warships and drones across it since former United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in August 2022.

Since September 2020, China has increased its use of grey zone tactics by incrementally increasing the number of military aircraft and naval ships operating around Taiwan.

Grey zone tactics are defined as “an effort or series of efforts beyond steady-state deterrence and assurance that attempts to achieve one’s security objectives without resorting to direct and sizable use of force.”