Home China Taiwan Claims Chinese Military Planes Have Crossed The Median Line

Taiwan Claims Chinese Military Planes Have Crossed The Median Line

Taiwan President-elect Lai Ching-te waves during a press conference where incoming cabinet members are announced, in Taipei, Taiwan April 25, 2024. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Taiwan’s defence ministry said that it had detected a renewed incursion by Chinese military aircraft across the sensitive Taiwan Strait on Friday as China reported its navy had carried out combat drills with landing craft. In its daily morning update on Chinese activities in the previous 24 hours, Taiwan said 14 Chinese military aircraft crossed the Taiwan Strait’s median line, getting as close as 41 nautical miles (76 km) to the northern Taiwanese port city of Keelung, home to a major navy base.

The median line is used to serve as an unofficial border between the two sides, but Chinese military aircraft now regularly cross it. China says it does not recognise the line’s existence. Observers say that over the past four years, China’s military has significantly ramped up its activities around democratically-governed Taiwan.

Taiwan has been concerned about what it views as Chinese aggression for some time now. Earlier in the week, Taiwan’s top security official warned on Wednesday that the island is preparing for potential military exercises by China following the upcoming inauguration of President-elect Lai Ching-te. He noted that China has already started employing unconventional tactics. China has a particular aversion to Lai, whom it views as a significant separatist threat. The Chinese government has consistently declined his repeated invitations for dialogue, including a recent proposal last week.

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Lai, like current President Tsai Ing-wen, rejects Beijing’s sovereignty claims; both say only the island’s people can decide their future. Lai, now vice president, will be inaugurated on May 20.

Speaking to reporters at parliament, Taiwan National Security Bureau Director-General Tsai Ming-yen said maintaining stability in the Taiwan Strait was in the interests of everyone in the international community, including China.

(With inputs from agencies)