Three aircraft of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) crossed on Tuesday the median line of the Taiwan Strait, which serves as an unofficial maritime border between Taiwan and mainland China, the Taiwanese defense ministry said on Tuesday.
“3 of the detected aircraft (J-10*2 and Y-8 ASW) had flown on the east part of the median line of the Taiwan Strait and our SW ADIZ [southwestern air defense identification zone], flight paths as illustrated,” the ministry tweeted.
According to the ministry, Taiwan sent an air patrol to monitor the situation and put anti-aircraft missile systems on alert.
In total, the activity of 11 military aircraft and four PLA warships was recorded near Taiwan during the day, the ministry added.
The situation around Taiwan escalated after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island in early August. China condemned Pelosi’s trip, which it regarded as a gesture of support for separatism, and launched large-scale military exercises in the vicinity of the island.
Earlier, Taiwanese forces on Monday fired flares at a drone that approached the Kinmen Islands, the Defense Ministry said.
“Today, on September 12, at 7.37 p.m. [11:37 GMT], a drone was detected, it entered the airspace in the area of restricted waters at Jiaoyu island,” Chang Zone-sung, the spokesman of the Army’s Kinmen Defense Command, said.
The ministry stated that the drone left the area after flares were shot in his direction.
In late August, the Taiwanese military fired on a Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) drone for the first time after it had approached the Kinmen Islands.
The Kinmen Islands is a group of islands located roughly 6.2 miles east of the city of Xiamen in China’s Fujian Province, administered by Taiwan.
According to the South China Morning Post newspaper, until recently, no Chinese military aircraft, including drones, had flown over the islands since the 1950s. The ministry began recording an increased activity of China’s aircraft in the islands’ airspace after the controversial visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taipei in early August.
Official relations between Beijing and Taipei broke down in 1949 after the Kuomintang forces led by Chiang Kai-shek defeated by the Chinese Communist Party in the civil war, moved to Taiwan.
Business and informal contact between the island and China resumed in the late 1980s. Since the early 1990s, the two sides have maintained contact through nongovernmental organizations.
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