Taiwan detects 33 Chinese aircraft, 6 warships near island; 2nd incident in 24 hours

Taiwan detects 33 Chinese aircraft, 6 warships near island; 2nd incident in 24 hours

Taiwan on Thursday said it spotted 33 Chinese air force aircraft and six naval warships near the island, the second such incursion in less than 24 hours and the third overall in a week.

Taiwan, which China claims as its territory, has repeatedly complained of Chinese military activity near it over the past three years, as Beijing stepped up pressure to try to force the island to accept its sovereignty.

Taking to X (formerly Twitter), Taiwan’s defence ministry, the airplanes and naval ships were detected around 6 am (local time).

Of those aircraft, the ministry said 10 had either crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait, which previously served as an unofficial barrier between the two sides, or entered the southwestern part of Taiwan’s air defence identification zone, or ADIZ.

Taiwanese armed forces have monitored the situation and tasked its aircraft, navy vessels and land-based missile systems to respond to these activities, the ministry said.

This is the second incursion of Chinese warplanes and warships near the island.

On Wednesday, 10 Chinese air force aircraft entered the island’s air defence zone accompanying five Chinese warships engaged in “combat readiness” patrols, the defence ministry said.

The ministry said that starting around 9 am (local time), it detected a total of 25 Chinese aircraft engaging in operations out at sea, including J-10 and J-16 fighters, as well as H-6 bombers.

On Sunday (August 6), Taiwan reported a similar level of activity by Chinese warplanes and warships near the island.

China staged war games around Taiwan in April after President Tsai Ing-wen returned home from a visit to the US where she met House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Taiwan’s democratically elected government rejects China’s sovereignty claim and says that only the island’s people can decide their future.

(with inputs from Reuters)

Edited By:

Prateek Chakraborty

Published On:

Aug 10, 2023

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