Taiwan warns of military retaliation if China commits a territorial violation

Beijing, June 27 (EFE).- The Taiwanese military Tuesday warned that it would attack Chinese fighter planes and warships if detected breaching the airspace and maritime zone of the island.

The Taiwanese Central News Agency reported that Major General Lin Wen-Huang, the in-charge of planning at the defense ministry, said the armed forces routinely monitor Chinese military activities around Taiwan.

In particular, the military closely monitors the movements of the Chinese warplanes and warships once they cross the median line and approach the contiguous zone.

“If the PLA side continues to ignore our warnings along the way and force their way into our territorial air space and seas, we will actively strike back to safeguard national security,” he said.

The warning came after several Chinese warplanes flew close to the airspace of Taipei for the first time in six months Saturday.

The defense ministry said eight Chinese planes “breached the median line” of the Taiwan Strait and entered the outer boundary of the “contiguous zone,” 24 nautical miles (44.4 km ) from the shore.

In response to the Chinese maneuvers, Taiwan deployed warplanes and navy ships and activated its land-based missile systems, said the defense ministry.

In March, Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said Taiwan would not carry out the “first strike” and give China an excuse for launching an invasion, but that did not mean the military would not defend the Taiwanese sea zone and airspace.

The median line has been an unofficial border tacitly respected by Taipei and Beijing in recent decades.

Chinese planes have constantly breached the median line after the then-US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in August last year, enraging China.

Taiwan has been a self-ruled territory since 1949, but China considers the island part of its territory.

Beijing says it reserves the right to use force to reunify Taiwan, even as a peaceful merger would be its first choice.

The island was the refuge of the Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) forces after losing the civil war with the Communists, who, since then, have claimed sovereignty over the territory. EFE


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