Taiwan’s defense ministry said on Monday that the island’s armed forces registered 71 aircraft and seven ships of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) approaching the island in the past 24 hours.
“71 PLA aircraft and 7 PLAN vessels around Taiwan were detected in our surrounding region by 6 am(UTC+8) today. 47 of the detected aircraft had crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait and entered Taiwan’s southwest ADIZ. ROC[air defense identification zone of the Republic of China],” the ministry said in a statement.
According to the ministry, Taiwan sent jets, Navy vessels, and land-based missile systems to respond to China’s actions.
Several countries, including France, Lithuania, the United States, Japan, and most recently, Germany, have sent their delegations to the island since then, further increasing tensions in the Taiwan Strait.
Taiwan has been governed independently from mainland China since 1949. Beijing views the island as its province, while Taiwan — a territory with its own elected government — maintains that it is an autonomous country but stops short of declaring independence.
Beijing opposes any official contacts of foreign states with Taipei and considers Chinese sovereignty over the island indisputable.
Earlier, China reportedly developed a series of short-range precision missiles and multiple-launch rocket systems able to hit Taiwan’s military and government infrastructure, the South China Morning Post reported.
“The mainland has developed many other types of short-range missiles armed with specific warheads that are tailor-made for precision strikes,” the source told the news agency.
The circular error for the missiles’ strikes does not exceed 1 meter (3.3 feet), the source reportedly added.
Meanwhile, Andrei Chang, editor-in-chief of Canadian magazine Kanwa Asian Defense, told the media outlet that short-range missiles developed by Beijing were capable of hitting any fortified air base.
“[Mainland] China’s ballistic missiles and multiple launch rocket system now use the BeiDou satellite navigation and terminal infrared image guidance systems, enabling them to hit any reinforced aircraft hangar and penetrate it precisely,” the newspaper quoted Chang as saying.
China’s missile build-up has reportedly prompted Taiwan to build 36 new hangars at its aircraft base located in the municipality of Taichung, which is expected to further strain relations between the parties.
Tensions between mainland China on the one hand, and Taiwan and countries boosting cooperation with the island on the other hand, escalated after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island in early August.
Beijing condemned Pelosi’s trip, which it is regarded as a gesture of support for separatism, and held large-scale military exercises in the vicinity of the island. Despite this fact, several countries, including France, Germany, the United States, Japan and others, have sent their delegations to the island since then, further increasing tensions in the Taiwan Strait.
Via: Sputnik News Agency