(Taipei) – Taiwan said Thursday that China deployed 68 military aircraft and 10 warships near its shores in one day.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense said in a statement that “68 People’s Liberation Army aircraft and 10 Chinese naval vessels were spotted” between Wednesday and Thursday morning around Taiwan.
Beijing considers the autonomous island part of its territory and could one day seize it by force.
China has intensified its threats and political and economic pressure on Taiwan since President Tsai Ing-wen came to power in 2016, which considers the island independent.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense has noted an increase in Chinese naval and air incursions in recent days.
Taipei announced on Wednesday that it had detected 35 warplanes around the island.
According to the Ministry of Defense, some of the planes and ships were heading to the western Pacific Ocean to join the Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong as part of a “joint naval and air exercise.”
Shandong is one of two active aircraft carriers in the Chinese fleet. It was discovered on Monday about 60 nautical miles (111 kilometers) southeast of the island’s southernmost point.
Silence from Beijing
Beijing has not yet commented on these maneuvers.
But the command of China’s Western Military District, which organizes exercises around Taiwan, claimed on Wednesday that an “air unit” had carried out exercises “recently,” within a radius of several “thousands of kilometers,” without mentioning “the island.” .
A Chinese military spokesman said on Saturday that Chinese soldiers remained “constantly on high alert” after two American and Canadian ships passed through the Taiwan Strait.
The US Navy said it was the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, the destroyer USS Ralph Johnson, and the frigate HMCS Ottawa, noting that the crossing “demonstrates the commitment of the United States and its allies and partners to the freedom of navigation in the open Indo-Pacific region.”
In April, Beijing conducted military exercises simulating the encirclement of the island, after a meeting between the Taiwanese president and US House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy in California.
In August 2022, the Chinese army launched major military exercises around Taiwan after the visit of Nancy Pelosi, then Speaker of the House of Representatives in the US Congress.