Taiwan says several Chinese planes and ships were seen in possible mock attack

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said some of the planes and boats had crossed the sensitive median line in the Taiwan Strait that separates the island from mainland China.

“Our military has issued warnings, deployed combat air patrols and naval vessels, and activated ground-based missile systems in response to the situation,” the ministry said.

As of 5 pm in Taiwan, 14 vessels and 20 planes operated by the Chinese military had been detected around the Strait, according to a ministry statement. Of the 20 planes, 14 crossed the median line, he added.

The Chinese military has yet to issue a statement on the purpose of Saturday’s exercises.

The news follows a series of military exercises China has held in Taiwan since Thursday after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s controversial visit to the self-governing democratic island earlier this week. week.
The Chinese Communist Party views Taiwan as its territory, even though it has never controlled it, and has long vowed to “reunify” the island with mainland China, by force if necessary.
China sends warships and planes near Taiwan and raises alert in Japan as tensions rise

Pelosi ignored his angry opposition to her visit by landing in Taipei on Tuesday night as part of a larger tour of Asia that concluded with a final stop in Japan on Friday.

But the full ramifications of his visit are only just emerging, with China stepping up military exercises in the skies and waters around Taiwan and halting cooperation with the US on various issues.

On Friday, 68 Chinese fighter jets were reported in the Taiwan Strait, according to Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense. Of those, 49 entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone, an airspace buffer zone commonly known as ADIZ. That was just a few planes short of the record set last year when 56 Chinese fighter jets entered the ADIZ on the same day.

Nineteen of the fighter jets on Friday also crossed the median line dividing the Taiwan Strait, the ministry said.

On Thursday, China launched 11 ballistic missiles, some of which flew over the island of Taiwan and landed in Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone, prompting Tokyo to file a formal complaint with Beijing. That was the first time China had sent missiles over the island.

Also on Thursday, two Chinese drones flew near Japan’s Okinawa prefecture, prompting the Japan Air Self-Defense Force to deploy fighter jets in response.

The drills are scheduled to last until Sunday local time in Beijing, according to Chinese state media.

diplomatic consequences

The deteriorating situation across the Taiwan Strait has sparked a diplomatic firestorm, with China lashing out at countries that have criticized its exercises and some regional powers calling for a de-escalation.

Tensions rose at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) foreign ministers’ meeting in Cambodia this week, where members had originally hoped to discuss three main issues: the Myanmar crisis, the South China Sea and the war in Ukraine.

But Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan added “a fourth hot stone … which has led to heated discussions on cross-strait relations,” Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn said at a news conference on Saturday. in Phnom Penh.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken attended the ASEAN meeting; On Thursday, Wang denounced Pelosi’s visit as a demonstration of the “bankruptcy” of US politics and credibility, calling it “manic, irresponsible and highly irrational behavior.”

A day later, after Beijing fired its missiles at Taiwan, Blinken said China had “chosen to overreact and use Speaker Pelosi’s visit as a pretext to increase provocative military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait.”

On Saturday, Sokhonn described the meeting as lively and said he had to call all the ministers to speak in a calm, dignified, polite, civilized and diplomatic manner.

“There were strong arguments, but in our opinion, it is much better that we exchange words than less friendly means,” he said.

Japan and other G7 economies have urged China to stop its military exercises and maintain the status quo in the region.

Beijing has not heeded those calls. Instead, he responded by canceling future phone calls between Chinese and American defense leaders and the annual naval meetings between the two countries. It also canceled planned meetings between Chinese and Japanese officials.

China has also summoned ambassadors from the US, Japan and several European countries.

On Friday, China’s Foreign Ministry announced a series of countermeasures against the United States, including sanctions against Pelosi and her immediate family.

Military exercises underscore China's relentless message in the Taiwan Strait

China has also suspended bilateral climate talks and shelved cooperation on issues including the repatriation of illegal immigrants and the investigation of transnational crime and drug operations.

“We should not take cooperation on global issues hostage because of the differences between our two countries,” Blinken told reporters on Saturday, speaking in Manila, the Philippine capital.

China’s decision to suspend climate talks “could have lasting consequences for the future of the region, the future of our planet” and would punish the developing world rather than the United States, he added.

Leave a Comment