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45 Chinese aircraft detected around Taiwan – Times of India

World45 Chinese aircraft detected around Taiwan - Times of India

NEW DELHI: Taipei on Wednesday reported detecting 45 Chinese military aircraft near Taiwan, marking the highest count for a single day this year. This development comes less than a week before the inauguration of Taiwan‘s new president, whom China considers a “dangerous separatist.”
China asserts sovereignty over democratic Taiwan and has reiterated its stance of not ruling out the use of force to reunify it with the mainland.The Chinese government has cautioned against the incoming president, Lai Ching-te, warning of potential “war and decline” for the island. Tensions have escalated since Lai’s victory in the January election.
On Wednesday, the defense ministry of Taipei reported that they had identified 45 Chinese aircraft and six naval vessels operating in the vicinity of Taiwan in the 24-hour period before 6:00 am (2200 GMT).
“26 of the aircraft crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait,” the ministry said in a statement, referring to a line bisecting the 180-kilometre (110-mile) waterway that separates Taiwan from China.
The ministry added that it had “monitored the situation and responded accordingly’.
The ministry stated that 23 Chinese aircraft, such as fighter jets and drones, were spotted around Taiwan over a two-hour timeframe.
Beijing has increased military pressure on Taiwan in recent years by consistently having warplanes, drones, and naval vessels around the island.
The largest number of warplanes and aircraft ever observed around Taiwan was in September last year, when Beijing deployed 103 of them, with 40 crossing the median line.
Experts say these are “grey zone tactics’, which stop short of outright acts of war but serve to exhaust Taipei’s military.
China has also dispatched coast guard ships and other official fishery vessels around Taiwan’s outlying island of Kinmen since February, in addition to deploying a military show of force.
The most recent sighting was Tuesday, when five Chinese coast guard ships sailed through Kinmen’s “restricted waters’ for three hours before leaving, Taiwan’s coast guard said.
Tuesday’s sighting was the fifth formation seen in May, which the Taiwanese coast guard said “seriously affect navigation safety and undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait’.
“We urge the Chinese side to exercise self-restraint and immediately cease this irrational behaviour,” it said.
Lai, similar to the current President Tsai Ing-wen, opposes Beijing’s assertion of control over Taiwan.
China has condemned him and his deputy Hsiao Bi-khim — who was Taiwan’s former representative to the United States — as an “independence duo’.

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