Taiwan said Wednesday that China mobilized 43 military aircraft and seven ships to the vicinity of the self-ruled island, the latest sign that Beijing does not plan to ease its campaign of harassment, threats and intimidation.
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry indicated that the data referred to the previous 24 hours, until 6:00 a.m. Wednesday, and that 37 of the planes had crossed the middle line of the Taiwan Strait, which China no longer recognizes. as the formal division between the two parts.
Taiwan monitored the situation and mobilized its fighter jets and ships, in addition to activating ground-based missile systems, he added. This is the standard response to Chinese military activities, which include crossing the island’s air defense identification zone without entering its airspace.
Chinese maneuvers have become more common and aggressive since the then Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, visited the island in August 2022. Beijing suspended military communication with Washington to show its displeasure over the trip to the island. island, which China considers a part of its territory that should be brought under its control by force if necessary.
The Chinese army’s maneuvers are seen as seeking to undermine the morale of the Taiwanese, exhaust their pilots and other personnel, and wear out their equipment. Despite this, the current status of de facto independence remains very popular among voters on the island and the defense budget has been increased to buy new equipment from the United States, its main ally, and to produce some items on the territory. , including submarines.
At an international defense forum in Beijing, China’s second-highest military officer, Gen. Zhang Youxia, on Monday reiterated the Chinese government’s threats to retaliate against attempts to establish formal independence for Taiwan, saying it “does not “No matter who tries to separate Taiwan from China in any way, China and the Chinese military will never allow that to happen.”