Taiwan detects 45 Chinese planes in the vicinity of its territory

Taiwan detects 45 Chinese planes in the vicinity of its territory
Taiwan detects 45 Chinese planes in the vicinity of its territory

Taiwan’s army detected 45 Chinese planes around the island, the Defense Ministry announced Wednesday, May 15, less than a week before new President Lai Ching-te, a supporter of the firmness in the face of Beijing. It was the highest number of Chinese planes detected around Taiwan, which Beijing claims as part of China, in a 24-hour period this year.

Of these 45 devices, “26 crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait”, the ministry said in a press release, referring to the line which bisects this 180 km wide strait between the island and mainland China. Six Chinese ships were also detected around Taiwan in the 24 hours before 6 a.m. (10 p.m. GMT). The ministry adds that it has “monitored the situation and reacted accordingly”.

A “gray zone tactic”

On Tuesday evening, the ministry said 23 Chinese aircraft, including fighter jets and drones, were detected around Taiwan over a two-hour period.

Beijing views Taiwanese President-elect Lai Ching-te, who is due to be sworn in on May 20, as a “dangerous separatist”. Tensions between Beijing and Taiwan have increased since he won the January vote. China has said it will not renounce the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control.

In recent years, it has increased its military pressure on the island by sending warplanes and ships almost daily, which, according to experts, constitutes a “gray zone tactics”that is to say actions of intimidation which do not amount to acts of war strictly speaking.

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