Taiwan said on Thursday it had detected 68 Chinese warplanes and 10 ships around the island, after criticizing this week that Beijing was conducting air and maritime training in the Western Pacific.
Considered in Beijing Taiwan as part of its territory and has intensified military and political pressure on the island since Tsai Ing-wen was elected president and took power in Tapéi in 2016.
The number of warplane flights around the island has increased significantly since Nancy Pelosi, then speaker of the US House of Representatives, visited the island last year.
“68 PLA aircraft and 10 PLAN ships were spotted” between Wednesday and Thursday morning, the Taiwanese Ministry of Defense said in a statement, using these acronyms to refer to the Taiwanese army and navy. China.
The Ministry of Defense of Taiwan reported the previous day, on Wednesday, that 35 Chinese fighter jets were located around the island and that some aircraft were heading to the Western Pacific to conduct maritime and air training with the aircraft carrier “Shandong.”
The vessels, a set of fighter jets and drones, have been found since Wednesday morning, according to Tapéi authorities.
“Shandong”, one of the two operational aircraft carriers in the fleet of Chinawas detected on Monday about 60 nautical miles (110 kilometers) southeast of Taiwan sailing to the Western Pacific, according to Taipei.
Japan’s Defense Ministry also said on Wednesday that its navy had detected six ships in addition to the “Shandong” advancing about 650 kilometers (400 miles) south of Japan’s Miyakojima island, east of Taiwan.
They also pointed out that they captured the planes and helicopters that landed and took off from “Shandong.”
Taipei warned that China intensified activities in a “gray zone” around the island and accused Beijing of trying to increase tensions in the region and put pressure on this territory, while avoiding an open conflict.
Authorities in Taipei said Monday they had discovered 39 military aircraft, including a Chinese aircraft carrier, near the island, after a US destroyer and a Canadian frigate moved through the Strait of Taiwan during the last week.
According to Taiwan22 of the detected planes crossed the median line of the Strait of Formosa, an unofficial boundary that separates the island from China continental. Invasions beyond this demarcation are rare.
Beijing has not issued any official comment on a drill in the Western Pacific.
However, the Eastern Command of the Army Chinawho is in charge of organizing the exercises near Taiwanreported on Wednesday that an “aviation unit” had “recently” conducted training in a radius of “thousands of kilometers,” without specifying Taiwan.
A Chinese military spokesman said on Saturday that troops are on “permanent high alert” after the transfer of the American destroyer “USS Ralph Johnson” and the Canadian frigate “NCSM Ottawa” through the strait.
The US Navy said the passage of the two ships “demonstrates the commitment of the United States, its allies and partners to a free and open Indo-Pacific region.” (With information from AFP)