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Tensions escalate as Chinese aircraft, vessels intrude near Taiwan’s territory

Representative Image (Courtesy: @Focus_Taiwan)

In a concerning escalation of regional tensions, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence reported on Sunday morning a significant presence of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft and People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) vessels operating in close proximity to its territory.

According to Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence, as of 6 am today, a total of 9 Chinese PLA aircraft and 7 PLAN vessels were detected in the vicinity of Taiwan. Of particular alarm was the breach of airspace, with 5 PLA aircraft crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait, encroaching into Taiwan’s northern and southwestern Air Defence Identification Zones (ADIZ).

In response to these provocative manoeuvers, Taiwan’s ROC Armed Forces have been actively monitoring the situation, swiftly deploying measures to address the unfolding scenario and upholding national security protocols.

The intrusion of PLA assets into Taiwan’s airspace underscores the heightened tensions in the region, as Taiwan continues to grapple with increasing military activities from mainland China. This latest incident further underscores Taiwan’s unwavering commitment to safeguarding its territorial integrity and sovereignty amidst escalating provocations.

Concerns are mounting over the potential ramifications of heightened military posturing in one of Asia’s most volatile flashpoints.

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

Gray zone tactics are considered “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,” Taiwan News reported earlier.

This comes at a time when the tensions between China and Taiwan are at an all-time high. Despite never having governed Taiwan, China’s governing Communist Party considers it part of its territory and has threatened to conquer it by force if necessary.