Saturday, July 13, 2024

Ministry detects 32 PLA aircraft around Taiwan – Taipei Times

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China announced on social media that the first of three days of live-fire exercises in the South China Sea ran from 8am to 6pm yesterday

The Ministry of National Defense yesterday said that 32 Chinese military aircraft were detected around the nation in a 24-hour window — the second-highest number this year.

The ministry also detected five naval ships operating around Taiwan in the 24 hours leading up to 6am, it said in a statement.

Twenty of the aircraft crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait, it said.

Photo: Reuters

Taiwan’s armed forces have “monitored the situation and employed [patrol] aircraft, navy vessels and coastal missile systems in response to the detected activities,” it added.

In two other 24-hour periods in late January and early last month, the ministry detected 33 Chinese warplanes around the nation, the highest number this year.

Those detections followed the Jan. 13 presidential election won by Vice President William Lai (賴清德).

Last month, Taiwan said that 11 Chinese naval vessels were detected around the nation, the most this year, as a row between Taipei and Beijing over a fatal fishing boat incident dragged on.

Taiwan also detected a record eight Chinese balloons in two consecutive days during the Lunar New Year holiday last month, with some flying directly over Taiwan proper.

Separately yesterday, the Chinese Maritime Safety Administration’s Guangdong Provincial Office wrote on social media that the first of three days of live-fire exercises in the South China Sea ran from 8am to 6pm.

The announcement came after US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken warned China that an armed assault on Philippine ships would constitute a breach of the Mutual Defense Treaty between Manila and Washington.

A Taiwanese national security source said that China was aware, but apparently dismissive of Blinken’s warning issued while he was in the Philippines on Tuesday.

Additional reporting by Jake Chung

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