Taiwan reports incursions by 15 Chinese military aircraft, 4 vessels

Beijing, Jan 12 (EFE).- A total of 15 Chinese military planes and four ships made incursions around Taiwan in recent hours, the island’s defense ministry reported Thursday.

Six of the Chinese planes crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait into Taiwanese Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), the ministry wrote on Twitter.

The median line is an unofficial border tacitly respected by Taipei and Beijing in recent decades, but which has been crossed in recent months by Chinese forces.

The incursions occurred between 6 am local time on Wednesday (22:00 GMT Tuesday) and 6 am on Thursday.

Among the planes that participated were J-10 and SU-30 fighters of the Chinese military, it said.

According to the ministry, the island’s armed forces monitored the situation with combat air and naval patrols and land-based missile systems tasked with responding to Chinese planes from the Taiwanese ADIZ, which is not defined or regulated by any international treaty and it does not equate to its airspace.

On Dec. 6, Taipei denounced the presence of 71 Chinese planes in the vicinity of the island, in an air deployment of an unprecedented scale around Taiwan.

Taiwan’s 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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