Taipei on Friday termed China’s military exercises around the island nation “highly provocative” after some Chinese aircraft and warships crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait.
China began its four-day live-fire military drills in six maritime areas around Taiwan on Thursday after U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi concluded a 19-hour visit to Taiwan. According to Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (MND), several People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft and warships had been spotted in waters around Taiwan, with some crossing the median line at 11 am.
The median line serves as an unofficial border separating Taiwan and China and breaching it represents a more aggressive posture than Beijing’s frequent sorties in the past two years into Taiwan’s air defence identification zone, according to Focus Taiwan.
In response to the “highly provocative” exercises, the military will enhance its capabilities and readiness for war to safeguard the country’s sovereignty without escalating tensions or triggering conflicts that might lead to a war, the MND said in a statement.
Taiwan’s Defence Ministry didn’t give much detail about the numbers of Chinese military aircraft and ships that crossed the median line on Friday, after saying 22 PLA planes did so on Thursday.
“22 PLA aircraft (J-11*8, SU-30*12 and J-16*2) entered the surrounding area of R.O.C. on August 4, 2022,” Taiwan Defence Ministry said in a statement.
Taiwan strongly condemned China’s “North Korea” style missile firing into waters near the self-governed island after China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) launched multiple Dongfeng (DF) ballistic missiles at the island’s Northeast and Southwest waters.
Notably, this is the third such incident that took place since Pelosi’s trip to Taipei.
Taiwan’s Foreign Affairs Ministry strongly condemns the Chinese government for following the example of North Korea in willfully test-firing missiles into waters near other countries and demands that China exercise self-restraint.
This comes as China commenced military drills around Taiwan’s main island, a day after Pelosi departed from Taipei following a visit that has left Beijing rankled.
Live-fire drills began today in at least six identified zones around the island, that regard its own and threaten to take over. The Chinese PLA organized joint combat training exercises near Taiwan waters and airspace, Xinhua news agency reported.
The Taiwan government has urged the international community to condemn China’s military coercion toward Taiwan.
“The ministry also calls on countries around the globe to continue to speak up in support of democratic Taiwan in order to jointly safeguard the values of freedom and democracy, to maintain the rules-based international order, and to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the Taiwan foreign ministry said.
Pelosi’s high-stakes visit marks the first visit by a US House Speaker in 25 years since Newt Gingrich came to Taiwan in April 1997. It was also Pelosi’s first trip to Taiwan in 22 years.