South Asia and Beyond

Taiwan Says 30 Chinese Military Aircraft Detected Near Island

 Taiwan Says 30 Chinese Military Aircraft Detected Near Island

Taiwan has said that 30 Chinese military aircraft were detected around the island in a 24-hour window, one of the highest this year.

Taiwan’s defence ministry said 20 of the aircraft crossed into the island’s so-called Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ).

The statement said that Taipei “monitored the situation and employed [patrol] aircraft, Navy vessels, and coastal missile systems in response to the detected activities”.

“30 PLA aircraft and 9 PLAN vessels operating around Taiwan were detected up until 6 a.m. (UTC+8) today. 20 of the aircraft entered Taiwan’s northern, middle line, and SW ADIZ. #ROCArmedForces have monitored the situation and employed appropriate force to respond,” Taiwan Ministry of National Defence posted on X.

This comes a month after Taiwan detected 36 Chinese warplanes around the island over a 24-hour period.

According to Taiwan news, in March, Taiwan tracked 359 Chinese military aircraft and 204 naval vessels.

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There has been a rise in the use of grey zone tactics – moves that fall short of outright acts of war since 2020 with a rise in the numbers of military aircraft and naval ships operating around Taiwan.

China has increased the deployment of air planes and naval vessels around Taiwan on a near-daily basis since the 2016 election of President Tsai Ing-wen, who considers Taiwan “already independent” — a red line for Beijing.

The current vice-president Lai Ching-te is also disliked by Beijing who won the elections on January 13.

Beijing has claimed Taiwan as part of its territory and has halted high-level communications with Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) since her 2016 election and ramped up military, diplomatic and economic pressure on the island nation.

Tensions between the countries rose over a fatal fishing boat incident. A Chinese boat carrying four people capsized on February 14 near Taiwan’s Kinmen islands while being pursued by the Taiwanese coast guard, killing two people while the other two survived.