38 Chinese military aircraft, 11 vessels spotted near Taiwan: Report

The Taiwanese Defence Ministry detected 38 Chinese warplanes and 11 vessels around Taiwan in the past 24 hours, a week after a significant two-day military drill by Beijing.

Livemint, Written By Jocelyn Fernandes
First Published30 May 2024
A banner that reads 'Taiwan No.1' is seen outside the parliament in Taipei, Taiwan on May 28
A banner that reads ’Taiwan No.1’ is seen outside the parliament in Taipei, Taiwan on May 28(Reuters / Ann Wang)

38 Chinese military aircraft, 7 Chinese navy vessels, and 4 China Coast Guard vessels detected around Taiwan, Taiwanese defense ministry said on May 30.

According to an AFP report, the ministry detected 38 Chinese warplanes and 11 navy or coastguard vessels around Taiwan in the past 24 hours. This follows a significant two-day military drill by Beijing a week prior.

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Notably, China considers democratic Taiwan part of its territory and has not ruled out using force to bring it under Beijing's control.

Incursion Across the Median Line

The defence ministry stated that 28 of the Chinese aircraft had crossed the median line, which bisects the Taiwan Strait and separates Taiwan from China. In response, Taiwan's military deployed planes and ships.

The sightings coincide with visits from United States congressional delegations, marking the first such visits since President Lai Ching-te's inauguration on 20 May, AFP said.

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Following President Lai's inauguration, Chinese warships and fighter jets encircled Taiwan in drills, which Beijing described as a test of its ability to seize the island. During these exercises, China warned that "independence forces" would be left "with their heads broken and blood flowing", the report added. 

Persistent Military Pressure

In recent years, Beijing has increased military pressure on Taiwan, with a near-daily presence of warplanes, drones, and naval vessels around the island. Experts describe these actions as "grey zone tactics," which aim to exhaust Taipei's military without direct acts of war.

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China also criticised Lai's inaugural speech as promoting independence, accusing it of "pushing our compatriots in Taiwan into a perilous situation of war and danger".

(With inputs from AFP)

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