Taipei reports Chinese military planes, ships around Taiwan for second day

Beijing, Jan 13 (EFE).- Seven Chinese military aircraft and three vessels were detected around Taiwan in recent hours, the island’s defense ministry reported Friday.

It comes a day after the government said 15 military planes and four ships from China had been detected in the area.

The ministry said Friday that an SU-30 fighter and a BZK-005 reconnaissance plane also crossed the Taiwan Strait’s median line, an unofficial border tacitly respected by Taipei and Beijing in recent decades, but which has been crossed in recent months by Chinese forces.

The movements occurred between 6 am local time on Thursday (22:00 GMT Wednesday) and 06 am on Friday.

The island’s armed forces monitored the situation with combat air and naval patrols and land-based missile systems.

On Dec. 26, Taipei denounced the presence of 71 Chinese planes in the vicinity of the island in an air deployment of an unprecedented scale around Taiwan.

President Tsai Ing-wen recently announced that the four-month mandatory military service for men will be extended to one year from 2024, noting that the island is on “the front lines of the expansion of authoritarianism.”

Taiwan has been considered a sovereign territory with its own government and political system under the name of the Republic of China since the end of the civil war between nationalists and communists in 1949, but Beijing maintains it is a rebel province and insists on reunification.

The island is also one of the biggest sources of conflict between China and the US mainly because Washington is Taiwan’s main arms supplier and would be its greatest military ally in the event of a possible war with China. EFE


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