Thu, 29 Sep 2022

Taipei [Taiwan], August 19 (ANI): Taiwan on Thursday reported that 51 Chinese warplanes and six warships breached its air defence identification zone (ADIZ) including 25 Chinese fighters bombers that flew east of self-governed island's median line.

Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND) at 7 pm (local time) announced that as of 5 pm, 51 People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) fighter jets and bombers and six People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) vessels had encroached on Taiwan's ADIZ. Of these aircraft, 25 had either crossed the median line or had been detected flying in the far southwestern corner of the ADIZ to the northeast of the Dongsha Islands, reported Taiwan News.

The 25 warplanes that had flown to the east of the median line were identified as 12 Sukhoi SU-30 fighter jets, six Shenyang J-16 fighter jets, four Chengdu J-10 fighter jets, two Xian H-6 bombers, and one Shaanxi Y-8 electronic warfare plane.

The MND said that it responded by scrambling combat patrol aircraft, issuing radio warnings, and deploying air defence missile systems to monitor the intrusions, reported Taiwan News.

That same day, Taiwan's military displayed its Sky Bow III surface-to-air anti-aircraft defense system, 35 mm double-barrelled anti-aircraft guns, and its Tianbing (Skyguard) Air Defense System to the media.

Tensions were further inflamed on Sunday when another US congressional delegation travelled to Taiwan and amid this a social media post by the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) showed footage of the Penghu islands suggesting that its jets were on Taiwan's doorstep.

Tung Pei-lun, the Taiwanese Air Force's vice chief of staff for operations, denied that the recent Chinese drills in the Taiwan Strait came near Penghu saying Beijing uses "cognitive warfare."All this transpired over the visit of US politicians to the self-governing island days after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan which irked China.

"China used the exaggerated tricks of cognitive warfare to show how close it was to Penghu, which is not true," Tung said while speaking to the media personnel on Tuesday, reported Russia's state-media RT.

The PLA's Eastern Theater Command (ETC), the unit responsible for the region that includes the Taiwan Strait, has held navy and air force drills around Taiwan as a show of force following Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taipei earlier this month.

Amid the heightened tensions in the Taiwan Strait, the United States is planning to take steps in the coming weeks and months to counter China's military and economic activity around Taiwan.

Pelosi's trip to Taiwan this month triggered a new round of tensions in the region. Ever since the visit of the US delegation, Beijing launched large-scale military exercises in the vicinity of the island, which included live-fire drills and military aircraft overflights close to Taiwan's airspace.

Addressing a press briefing on Wednesday, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said the US will continue to take steps that are resolute but also calm to uphold peace and stability in the face of Beijing's ongoing efforts to undermine the status quo.

"These steps across a range of areas will unfold over the coming weeks and months because we recognize that this challenge is a long-term," Price said during a press briefing.

Last week, a new delegation of US lawmakers visited Taiwan, less than two weeks after Pelosi's visit to the self-ruled island angered China and set off large-scale military drills in the Taiwan Strait.

In response to this visit, China's military conducted combat alert patrols and military drills in the waters and airspace around Taiwan. On Tuesday, China staged military exercises in five areas of the South China Sea off the coast of the southeastern Guangdong province. Several zones of the Yellow Sea are also involved in the ongoing drills on August 17-19. (ANI)

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