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Taiwan detects 30 Chinese military planes around island within 24 hours


Taipei: Taiwan disclosed on Wednesday that it had identified 30 Chinese military aircraft surrounding the island within a 24-hour timeframe, marking one of the highest daily counts this year.

The self-ruled island nation considers itself independent, a stance vehemently opposed by China, which regards Taiwan as its territory and has not ruled out the use of force to assert control.

According to Taiwan's defense ministry, 20 of the detected aircraft entered the island's Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), prompting a response from Taiwan's armed forces. In response to the heightened activity, Taiwan deployed patrol aircraft, Navy vessels, and coastal missile systems to monitor and address the situation, the defense ministry stated.

The recent surge in Chinese military incursions follows a trend of escalating "grey zone" actions, which fall short of outright warfare but serve to assert Beijing's influence.

These actions have intensified since the election of President Tsai Ing-wen in 2016, whose stance on Taiwan's independence is considered unacceptable by Beijing. China routinely conducts military exercises and patrols near Taiwan, with balloon flights over the island also on the rise.

Taiwan's incoming Vice President Lai Ching-te, who is perceived unfavorably by Beijing, won the recent presidential election alongside Vice President-elect Hsiao Bi-khim of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

The issue of Taiwan was a focal point in a recent call between US President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping, with Biden emphasizing the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait ahead of Lai's inauguration.

Xi reiterated China's stance on Taiwan, describing it as a "red line" that cannot be crossed, according to Chinese state media.

Despite switching recognition to Beijing in 1979, the United States remains a key ally of Taiwan, obligated by law to provide the island with defense weapons and treat its representatives as foreign diplomats.

China has actively sought to isolate Taiwan diplomatically, with only a handful of countries, including the Vatican, maintaining formal recognition of the island.

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TAGS:ChinaTaiwanTaiwan China Tension
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