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Taiwan reports Chinese military activity near its territory, detects 30 PLA aircraft, nine naval vessels

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Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence (MND) has reported Chinese military activity around nation. Taiwan MND stated that 30 Chinese military aircraft and nine naval vessels were operating near its territory from 6 am (local time) on Friday and 6 am (local time) on Saturday.

Of the total aircraft, 23 People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft entered Taiwan’s southwestern and southeastern Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ). The Chinese military aircraft came as close as 72 kilometers from Eluanbi in the south and 77 kilometers from Keelung in the north, according to Taiwan News report.

In response to China’s military action, Taiwan sent combat patrol aircraft and naval vessels and deployed land-based air defence missile systems to monitor Beijing’s activity, Taiwan News reported.

In a post on X, Taiwan’s MND stated, “30 PLA aircraft and 9 PLAN vessels operating around Taiwan were detected up until 6 a.m. (UTC+8) today. 23 aircraft entered Taiwan’s southwestern and southeastern ADIZ.#ROCArmedForces have monitored the situation and responded accordingly.”

So far in July, Taiwan’s MND has tracked Chinese military aircraft 131 times and naval vessels 35 times. Since September 2020, China has intensified its use of “gray zone tactics” by sending more military aircraft and naval ships near Taiwan.

According to CSIS, gray zone tactics are termed as “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,” Taiwan News reported.

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 Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) and military exercises near the island.

Taiwan has been governed independently of China since 1949. However, China considers Taiwan part of its territory and insists on eventual reunification, by force if necessary.