English News

  • youtube
  • facebook
  • twitter

Taiwan detects 35 Chinese military aircraft, seven naval vessels near its territory

Representative Image (Image Credit: Reuters)

Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence (MND) said that it detected 35 Chinese military aircraft (PLA) and seven naval vessels operating around Taiwan from 6 am (local time) on Wednesday to 6 am (local time) on Thursday.

According to Taiwan’s MND, 33 of the aircraft crossed the median line and entered Taiwan’s northern, central, southwestern, and eastern Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ). Following China’s action, Taiwan sent aircraft and naval ships and deployed coastal-based missile systems to monitor PLA activity.

In a post on X, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence (MND) stated, “35 PLA aircraft and 7 PLAN vessels operating around Taiwan were detected up until 6 a.m. (UTC+8) today. 33 of the aircraft crossed the median line and entered Taiwan’s northern, central, southwestern, and eastern ADIZ. We have monitored the situation and responded accordingly.”

So far in June, Taiwan has detected Chinese military aircraft 371 times and naval/coast guard vessels 204 times, Taiwan News reported. Since September 2020, China has intensified its use of grey zone tactics by increasing the number of military aircraft and naval ships operating near Taiwan.

According to a Taiwan News report, Grey 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.”

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 Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).

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

On June 25, Taiwan’s Coast Guard (CGA) monitored four China Coast Guard (CCG) vessels in restricted waters off the Taiwan-controlled Kinmen Islands, Central News Agency (CNA) reported.

The intrusion was reported to the CGA’s Kinmen-Matsu-Penghu Branch sometime after 5 am (local time). CGA’s Kinmen-Matsu-Penghu Branch said that they dispatched three patrol boats to keep a watch on the Chinese vessels and collect evidence until they left the area at 8 am (local time).

The branch said that four Chinese boats, numbered 14609, 14603, 14513, and 14605, paired up and respectively entered the restricted area from east of Beiding Island and south of Fuxing Island for sorties that lasted about two hours, CNA reported.

Taiwan’s CGA stressed that the actions of the Chinese Coast Guard do not maintain the ties between Kinmen and Xiamen, nor do they advance regional stability. However, the China Coast Guard (CCG) said its actions were legal since it stepped up patrols in the waters around Kinmen in June.

Calling its intrusion an effort to “further strengthen [China’s] control of the waters,” the CCG in a statement posted on the WeChat message group stated that the move was aimed at ensuring residents’ fishing rights as well as life and property security within China’s territory, which it claimed “includes Taiwan,” Central News Agency (CNA) reported.

The CCG’s move is being seen as a response to the deaths of two Chinese nationals on February 14, when a Chinese speedboat pursued by CGA personnel for illegally entering Taiwanese waters capsized near the Kinmen Islands. Two of the four crew members died after they were thrown into the water.