Blinken concerned over China’s ‘provocative actions’ in Taiwan Strait
China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) dispatched a staggering total of 45 warplanes and nine warships near Taiwan’s borders over a 24-hour period.
The Ministry of National Defence (MND) confirmed the unsettling development, which unfolded between 6am on Saturday and 6am on Sunday.
A key focus of concern was the audacious crossing of the unofficial median line in the Taiwan Strait by 25 of the warplanes.
The MND unveiled the flight paths of these intruding aircraft, revealing that among them were nine Su-30 fighter jets, four J-11s, and twelve J-10s.
Adding to the gravity of the situation, a Y-9 electronic warfare aircraft and a Z-9 anti-submarine helicopter were detected venturing into the southwestern sector of Taiwan’s air defence identification zone (ADIZ).
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The ADIZ serves as a crucial buffer for identifying and controlling foreign aircraft but falls outside the scope of territorial airspace, according to international law.
Although specifics about the exact whereabouts of the nine PLA warships remain undisclosed, visuals released by the Military News Agency showcased Taiwan’s Navy frigates, referred to as Tian Dan guided-missile vessels, closely surveilling China’s Xuzhou frigate.
The situation escalated further when the PLA’s Eastern Theatre Command orchestrated joint air and sea patrols, along with robust navy and air force exercises in close proximity to Taiwan.
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China touted these manoeuvres as a stern warning to groups supporting Taiwan’s independence, accusing them of collaborating with external forces and inciting provocations.
Amid these escalating tensions, Vice President Lai Ching-te’s return to Taiwan from a diplomatic trip to Paraguay, one of Taiwan’s South American allies, raised eyebrows.
Lai’s journey, spanning from August 12 to August 18, included layovers in New York on August 12 and San Francisco on August 16.
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