Taiwan notes a notable military presence of China surrounding the country.

Taiwan detects the notable military presence of China.

China has launched its largest military drills around Taiwan since August 2022, in what it calls “strong punishment for the separatist acts of Taiwan independence forces.”

As of Friday morning, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry detected 49 Chinese military planes and 19 Chinese vessels around the island. At least 35 of the Chinese aircraft crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait and entered Taiwan’s southwestern air defense identification zone (ADIZ). China neither recognizes the median line nor the ADIZ. Earlier this week, Taiwan had detected the presence of Chinese naval vessels and aircraft near the nation. On Tuesday, Taiwan tracked 8 Chinese naval vessels around the island until 6 pm, and 6 PLA aircraft and 7 PLAN vessels until 6 am, with 6 aircraft crossing the median line and entering Taiwan’s ADIZ.

 

In response, Taiwan sent naval ships and deployed coastal-based missile systems to monitor the activity. The drills, which began on Thursday, encircle Taiwan’s main island at five distinct points and include areas such as the Taiwan Strait, as well as the Taiwan-controlled islands of Kinmen, Matsu, Wuqiu, and Dongyin. China’s military stated that the exercises focus on joint sea-air combat readiness patrols, precision strikes on critical targets, and integrated operations within and beyond the island to assess the “joint real combat capabilities” of its forces.

 

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry has criticized China’s actions as “irrational provocations” and “undermining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait”. The ministry has deployed its military to monitor and shadow Chinese activities.

The current political situation in Taiwan can be summarized as follows:

 

  • Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China (ROC), has been governed independently from mainland China (the People’s Republic of China or PRC) since 1949 after the Chinese Civil War.
  • The PRC claims Taiwan as a breakaway province that must eventually be “unified” with the mainland, while Taiwan sees itself as a separate, democratic nation.
  • Tensions have escalated in recent years, with the PRC taking increasingly aggressive military, political, and economic actions to pressure Taiwan, including large-scale military exercises around the island.

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