Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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28 Chinese warplanes spotted around Taiwan

Twenty-eight Chinese warplanes were spotted near Taiwan on Sunday, twenty of which crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait, AFP reported.

Taiwan’s Defence Ministry said 20 aircraft crossed the median line of the waterway separating Taiwan and mainland China. The warplanes entered the southeast and southwest air defence identification zone of the self-governing island. The ministry added that China conducts “missions such as long-range exercises and training.”

China considers Taiwan its territory, which will one day join the state by force if necessary. In recent years, Beijing has increased military and diplomatic pressure on Taipei.

China put its troops on high alert after two ships, an American and a Canadian, had transited through the Taiwan Strait this month.

Taiwan’s Defence Ministry said 68 Chinese aircraft and 10 naval vessels were spotted around the island between Wednesday morning and Thursday morning. Some of them were heading to an unspecified area in the Western Pacific to “conduct joint sea and air training” with the Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong, the ministry reported.

The Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong was spotted on Monday about 60 nautical miles (110 kilometres) southeast of Taiwan. The warship was heading for the western Pacific Ocean, according to Taipei authorities.

Beijing has not officially commented on the exercise in the Pacific Ocean.

In April, China conducted a military exercise to simulate encircling the island. It happened after Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen had met with U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in California.

At the time, Taiwan detected 71 Chinese military aircraft in 24 hours, matching the all-time daily high set in December 2022.

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