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Taiwan reports increased Chinese activity near its airspace, responds swiftly

Representative Image (Photo: Reuters)

Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence on Wednesday confirmed heightened activity by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) near Taiwan’s airspace and waters.

According to the Ministry, 16 PLA aircraft and 6 People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) vessels were detected operating around Taiwan up until 6 a.m. local time.

Of these, 8 aircraft breached Taiwan’s southwestern and eastern Air Defence Identification Zones (ADIZ). Taiwan’s Armed Forces (ROCArmedForces) closely monitored the situation and responded promptly.

The presence of PLA assets near Taiwan has been a source of tension in the region as Taiwan continues to assert its sovereignty amidst increasing military manoeuvres by Beijing. Taiwan’s Minister of National Defence emphasised the importance of vigilance and readiness in ensuring Taiwan’s security and stability.

The specifics of Taiwan’s response to the recent PLA activity were not disclosed, but the Ministry reiterated its commitment to defending Taiwan’s airspace and territorial integrity.

“16 PLA aircraft and 6 PLAN vessels operating around Taiwan were detected up until 6 a.m. (UTC+8) today. 8 of the aircraft entered Taiwan’s southwestern and eastern ADIZ. #ROCArmedForces have monitored the situation and responded accordingly,” said Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence in a post on X, on Wednesday.

A day ago, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence said on Tuesday that 10 aircraft and five vessels from China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) were detected operating around Taiwanese waters and airspace until 6 am (UTC+8).

Notably, 4 of the aircraft crossed the median line and entered Taiwan’s southwestern and eastern Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ).

These incidents underscore the ongoing tensions between Taiwan and China, with Beijing frequently conducting military manoeuvres and exercises near the self-governing island. Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China, maintains its autonomy despite China’s claims of sovereignty over the island.

The Ministry of National Defence did not provide further details regarding the specific type of aircraft or vessels involved in the recent activity, nor did it disclose any specific actions taken by the ROC Armed Forces in response to the situation.

The presence of PLA military assets near Taiwan continues to be a sensitive issue, heightening concerns over potential escalations in the region. The Taiwanese government has consistently called for international support and attention to ensure stability and peace in the Taiwan Strait.

Since September 2020, China has intensified its use of “grey zone tactics” by operating more military aircraft and naval ships near Taiwan.

According to CSIS, 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.”