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Taiwan detects 23 Chinese military aircraft, 7 naval ships around nation

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The Ministry of National Defence said that it detected 23 Chinese military aircraft and seven naval vessels around Taiwan between 6 am on Sunday and 6 am on Monday (local time), Taiwan News reported.

According to the MND, of the 23 People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft, 19 crossed the Taiwan Strait median line in the northern, southwestern, and eastern sectors of the country’s air defence identification zone (ADIZ).

In response, Taiwan sent aircraft and naval ships and deployed coastal-based missile systems to monitor the PLA activity, as per Taiwan News.

On June 23, the Ministry of National Defence tracked 15 Chinese military aircraft and six naval vessels encircling it.

According to Taiwan News, so far this month, Taiwan has tracked Chinese military aircraft 324 times and naval/coast guard vessels 190 times. Since September 2020, China has increased its use of gray 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.”

This latest incident adds to a series of similar provocations by China in recent months. China has increased its military activities around Taiwan, including regular air and naval incursions into ADIZ.

Taiwan has long been a contentious issue in China’s foreign policy. China continues to assert its sovereignty over Taiwan, considers it a part of its territory and insists on eventual reunification, by force if necessary.

Meanwhile, in a recent incident, a Chinese rocket carrying a satellite passed over south Taiwan on Saturday, Taiwan’s Ministry of Defence (MND) said, and the Central News Agency (CNA) Taiwan reported.

The Chinese rocket was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in China’s Sichuan at 3 pm (local time), CNA reported. According to Taiwan’s MND, the rocket had already left Earth’s atmosphere when it passed over Taiwan.

Taiwan’s MND said it had been closely monitoring the launch and tracking the real-time information through the intelligence and surveillance systems. It had alerted the people about the imminent launch on Friday, according to CNA report.