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Taiwan detects 43 Chinese warplanes around island

Taiwan's Defense Ministry has said it scrambled jet fighters in response to Chinese aircraft crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait.

Taiwan detects 43 Chinese warplanes around island
Taiwan detects 43 Chinese warplanes around island

China sent 43 warplanes and seven naval vessels near the island of Taiwan in a 24-hour period, the Tawainese Defense Ministry said on Wednesday.

The Taiwanese military said 37 of the Chinese aircraft were reported to have crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait between mainland China and the island.

China considers Taiwan part of its own territory and regularly carries out military drills around the self-ruled island. It has not discounted using force to take control of the territory.

What was Taiwan's response?

Taiwan's Defense Ministry added it had monitored the situation, scrambled jet fighters, dispatched ships and activated land-based missile systems.

These were all standard responses to Chinese military activities, including crossing into Taiwan's air defense identification zone but not into its actual airspace, the ministry said.

Why is China flying military planes near Taiwanese air space?

In September, Taiwan's defense minister said China had stepped up "military intimidation" this year by flying an increased number of warplanes around the island.

At the time, the ministry said Beijing's "continued military harassment could easily lead to a sharp escalation in tension and worsen regional security."

The recent shows of force by Beijing have been frequent since then-US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in August 2022.

On Monday, at an international defense forum in Beijing, China's second-ranking military official, General Zhang Youxia, repeated that his government would retaliate against moves toward establishing Taiwan's formal independence.

Youxia said, "No matter who tries to split Taiwan from China in any form, China and the Chinese military will never allow that to happen."

Source: Dw

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