Repercussion of Tsai Ing-wen's US visit: The tension between China and Taiwan has reached a zenith after Beijing started a three-day “combat readiness patrol” in response to Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen's visit to the United States.
In the latest development, the Taiwanese Defence Ministry claimed as many as 70 Chinese military aircraft and 11 PLAN vessels around Taiwan were detected by 6 am today.
According to the ministry, the Chinese warplanes had crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait and entered Taiwan’s southwest and southeast ADIZ. In a Twitter post, it said that the Taiwanese defence forces monitored the situation and tasked CAP aircraft, Navy vessels, and land-based missile systems to respond to Chinese aggression.
"70 PLA aircraft and 11 PLAN vessels around Taiwan were detected by 6 a.m.(UTC+8) today. R.O.C. Armed Forces have monitored the situation and tasked CAP aircraft, Navy vessels, and land-based missile systems to respond to these activities," tweeted Defence Ministry.
"35 of the detected aircraft(SU-30*8, J-11*4, J-10*6, J-16*8, TB-001 UCAV, Y-9EW, Y-8 ASW, J-15*4, CH-4 UCAV, KJ-500 AEW&C) had crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait and entered Taiwan’s southwest and southeast ADIZ, flight paths as illustrated," it added.
Notably, for the past three days, Chinese military aircraft have been conducting what it called a "military exercise" in a retaliatory step against the visit of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen's brief visit to the United States.
It is worth mentioning Taiwan split with China in 1949 after a civil war. The ruling Communist Party says the island is obliged to rejoin the mainland, by force if necessary. Beijing says contact with foreign officials encourages Taiwanese who want formal independence, a step the ruling party says would lead to war.
“This is a serious warning against the collusion and provocation between the ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist forces and external forces,” said a PLA statement. The “Joint Sword” exercises “defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Plans also called for the exercise to include a destroyer, missile boats, ballistic missiles and land-based anti-ship missiles as well as early warning, electronic warfare and tanker aircraft, according to the The Global Times, a newspaper published by the Communist Party.
Military analysts suggest a possible Chinese strategy in the event of an attack is to try to pressure Taiwan to surrender by blocking sea and air traffic, preventing the United States, Japan or other allies from intervening or sending supplies.
On Saturday, the PLA was testing its ability to dominate the sea, air and information and to “create a situation of deterrence and suppression,” the mainland newspaper The China Daily said.
(With inputs from agency)