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Homechevron_rightWorldchevron_rightChinese warplanes and...

Chinese warplanes and ships surround Taiwan ahead of new president taking charge

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Taipei: Taiwanese defense and coast guard officials reported on Thursday the detection of numerous Chinese warplanes and ships in the vicinity of the island, just days before Taiwan's inauguration for a new president.

The Chinese military presence around Taiwan, as announced by Taipei, included 23 warplanes and five naval vessels within 24 hours leading up to 6 am. This development occurred shortly after a US warship sailed through the sensitive Taiwan Strait.

The Taiwan Coast Guard disclosed the detection of 12 Chinese ships around the outlying island of Kinmen, administered by Taipei but located near the Chinese city of Xiamen. Tensions have escalated in Kinmen, with Chinese coast guard ships frequently patrolling the area.

A fleet of seven Chinese ships, accompanied by three fishing boats, entered restricted waters around Kinmen, suspected of engaging in maritime exercises. Concurrently, another fleet of four Chinese coast guard ships entered prohibited and restricted waters.

The intensified patrols around Kinmen followed a series of deadly fishing incidents earlier this year, further exacerbating tensions in the region. These actions have been met with concern, particularly after Taiwan's elections in January, won by Vice President Lai Ching-te, who rejects China's claim on Taiwan.

In addition to the maritime presence around Kinmen, Taiwan's defense ministry reported the detection of nearly two dozen Chinese warplanes and five navy ships surrounding the island. This coincided with a routine transit of the Taiwan Strait by a US warship.

The USS Halsey destroyer's transit through the Taiwan Strait affirmed the United States' commitment to upholding freedom of navigation principles. However, Chinese naval spokesperson Li Xi dismissed the sail-through as "public hype," emphasizing China's readiness to safeguard national sovereignty and security.

China's increased military activity around Taiwan has raised concerns about potential escalation, particularly ahead of Taiwan's upcoming inauguration. Chinese authorities had previously warned of repercussions regarding Taiwan's elections, heightening tensions in the region.

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TAGS:TaiwanTaiwan China Tensions
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