OAN Roy Francis
2:18 PM – Thursday, July 13, 2023
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) deployed a large number of warplanes and navy ships towards Taiwan in the last three days.
Taiwan’s defense ministry announced on Wednesday that 68 warplanes, which included fighter jets and bombers, along with 13 navy ships have been sent in the direction of Taiwan with some crossing the median line in the Taiwan Strait. The strait serves as the unofficial border between China and Taiwan, although China does not recognize its legitimacy.
The warplanes and ships were deployed to the area by Beijing in order to prepare for its annual defensive training. The purpose of the yearly training is drills meant to prepare for an invasion.
Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense said that of the aircraft that were headed in their direction, 32 have already entered its Air Defense Identification Zone on Tuesday, with another 23 on Wednesday.
“The PLA aircraft conducted long-range aerial reconnaissance training alongside long-distance vessels to the southeast of Taiwan,” the defense ministry said. “Four PLAN [People’s Liberation Army Navy] vessels also conducted joint combat patrol.”
Taiwan is also scheduled to hold its annual Han Guang exercise later in July, the purpose of which is to also conduct drills to prepare for an invasion. Along with the Han Guang exercise, Taiwan will also hold the Wan’an exercises which is aimed at preparing civilians for natural disasters and readiness in case of air raids.
In April, Beijing had held a large-scale combat readiness drill around Taiwan in response to the meeting between President of Taiwan Tsai Ing-Wen and United States House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
China has maintained that Taiwan is a part of its own territory, criticizing and sending warnings to any nation that argues for the independence of Taiwan.
In recent years China has routinely sent military planes towards Taiwan, however in the past year it has escalated its efforts and started to send navy ships as well to the waters surrounding the island nation.
Last August, then-U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had visited Taiwan causing China to greatly escalate the tensions in the region by firing missiles over the island and disrupting the trade lanes in the Taiwan Strait.
Taiwan’s defense ministry has stated that its armed forces are “closely monitoring” the current situation and the movement of the Chinese troops using an intelligence, and surveillance system. They have also deployed civilian air patrol units, naval vessels as well as land-based systems in response to the latest aggression by the Chinese.
The U.S. along with Taiwan’s allies have repeatedly condemned China for the its aggression and actions in the region expressing their support for the island nation.
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