Taiwan detects seven Chinese military aircraft, seven naval vessels around nation

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Taipei: Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence (MND) on Tuesday said it detected seven Chinese military aircraft and seven naval vessels around the nation between 6 am (local time) on Monday to 6 am (local time) on Tuesday.

According to Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence, seven People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft were tracked in the Taiwan Strait. Among the seven aircraft, two crossed the median line and three entered the southwest corner of the air defense identification zone (ADIZ), Taiwan News reported.

The three PLA aircraft that entered the southwest ADIZ came within 90 kilometers of Eluanbi, according to Taiwan’s MND. The ministry said it monitored the situation using its surveillance, intelligence as well as reconnaissance systems and dispatched combat patrol aircraft, naval vessels, and deployed land-based air defense missile systems.
In a post on X, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence stated, “7 PLA aircraft and 7 PLAN vessels operating around Taiwan were detected up until 6 a.m. (UTC+8) today. 5 of the aircraft crossed the median line and entered Taiwan’s southwestern ADIZ. #ROCArmedForces have monitored the situation and employed appropriate forces to respond.”
So far in April, Taiwan’s MND spotted Chinese military aircraft 247 times and naval vessels 176 times, according to Taiwan News report. Since September 2020, China has intensified the use of “gray zone tactics” by deploying military aircraft and naval vessels over the median line and inside Taiwan’s ADIZ.

As per the CSIS, the gray 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,” Taiwan News reported.

Earlier on Monday, Taiwan tracked four Chinese naval vessels around Taiwan between 6 am on Sunday and 6 am on Monday (local time), according to Taiwan’s MND. Amid escalating tensions in the Taiwan Strait, the island nation’s Ministry of National Defence has repeatedly detected Chinese military aircraft and vessels operating near Taiwan.
The provocative manoeuvres by Chinese military assets come amid heightened tensions between Taiwan and China, with Beijing asserting its territorial claims over the self-governing island.

Taiwan has long been a source of contention between China and the international community, with Beijing considering the island as an integral part of its territory, while Taiwan maintains its sovereignty. Last week, Admiral John Aquilino, commander of the US Indo-Pacific Command, has said that China aims to have the capability to invade Taiwan by 2027, Nikkei Asia reported.

Speaking to Nikkei Asia, Admiral Aquilino noted that the timeline is based on Chinese President Xi Jinping asking “his military to be prepared if tasked to execute in 2027.” He made the remarks to Nikkei and other outlets while visiting Japan on April 23.

He further said that the US did not come up with the date. Aquilino voiced concern over China’s military buildup and its growing provocations against Taiwan, according to Nikkei Asia. Admiral John Aquilino said, “Despite a failing economy, there is a conscious decision to fund military capability,” adding that he believes China will continue to spend significant resources on the military even in the face of greater economic headwinds.

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