Taiwan detects 35 Chinese military aircraft, 15 ships near Island – Defense Ministry

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The Taiwanese armed forces have detected 35 Chinese military aircraft and 15 vessels in the vicinity of the island, Taiwan’s defense ministry said on Friday.

“[As many as] 35 PLA [People’s Liberation Army of China] aircraft and 15 PLAN [People’s Liberation Army Navy] vessels around Taiwan were detected by 6 a.m.(UTC+8) [22:00 GMT on Thursday] today. The Taiwanese armed forces have monitored the situation and tasked CAP aircraft, Navy vessels, and land-based missile systems to respond these activities,” the ministry wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

It added that 23 out of the 35 aircraft entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone, including four J-11 jets, Z-9 ASW helicopter, six J-10 and six J-16 fighter jets.

In response, Taiwan deployed air and sea patrols to monitor the situation, as well as land-based missile systems, the defense ministry said.

Taiwan has been governed independently from mainland China since 1949. Beijing regards the island as its province, while Taiwan maintains that it is an autonomous entity but stops short of declaring independence. Beijing opposes any official foreign contacts with Taipei and regards Chinese sovereignty over the island as indisputable.

The latest escalation around Taiwan took place in April after Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen met with former US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in the United States. Beijing responded by launching massive three-day military drills near the island in what it called a warning to Taiwanese separatists and foreign powers. In August and September, the Taiwanese armed forces reported multiple sightings of Chinese naval and air patrols in the island’s vicinity. On September 18, the ministry reported a record high of 103 Chinese aircraft seen near the island in one day.

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