Taiwan denounces incursion of 71 Chinese planes, 7 ships

Beijing, Dec 26 (EFE).- The Taiwanese defense ministry denounced Monday the presence of 71 planes and five Chinese military ships in the vicinity of the island, with 47 of the aircraft crossing the so-called median line of the Taiwan Strait.

Among the 47 aircraft of China’s army that crossed the median line were 12 J-11 fighter jets, 18 J-16 fighter jets and six SU-30 fighters, which crossed the median line between 6am local time Sunday (10pm GMT on Saturday) and 6am on Monday (10pm on Sunday.)

The median line of the Strait of Formosa, which in practice is an unofficial border tacitly respected by Taipei and Beijing in recent decades, has been constantly crossed in recent months by Chinese forces during military exercises.

According to the military portfolio, the island’s air forces monitored the situation with combat air and naval patrols and with missile systems on the ground to scare away Chinese planes from the Taiwanese Air Defense Identification Zone, which is not defined nor regulated by any international treaty and is not equivalent to its airspace.

These incursions come after the United States Congress approved Friday the so-called National Defense Authorization Act, which authorizes spending of $ 858,000 million in defense, energy and national security that includes military aid to Taiwan.

In the past two years, the number of raids by Chinese planes and ships has increased, actions that have been condemned by both Taiwan and the US.

The visit to the territory in August by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi angered the Chinese government, which responded with economic sanctions and the announcement of military exercises in the waters surrounding Taiwan. These decisions brought tension in the Taiwan Strait to levels unheard of in decades.

China claims sovereignty over the island and considers Taiwan a rogue province since Kuomintang nationalists withdrew there in 1949 after losing the civil war against the communists.

Taiwan, with whom the US does not have official relations, is one of the biggest sources of conflict between China and the US, mainly because Washington is the island’s main arms supplier and would be its biggest military ally in the event of a war with Beijing. EFE


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