Taiwan’s government said it had detected 42 incursions by Chinese warplanes into its air defense zone after Beijing yesterday announced the launch of joint air and sea patrols and military exercises by the navy and air force around the island. of Taiwan. “Since 9am today, we have detected 42 incursions,” the island’s defense ministry said in a statement.
Between these incursions, 26 warplanes crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait, according to the Defense Ministry. According to the statement, 8 Chinese ships also participated in the maneuvers. “The national army is monitoring and using reconnaissance methods to strictly control” the situation, the Taiwanese defense ministry said, adding that it had sent planes and ships.
Such patrols and drills serve as a “stark reminder of Taiwan’s independence separatists’ collusion with foreign elements and their provocations,” command spokesman Shi Yi said. The maneuvers are intended to train the coordination of military ships and aircraft and their ability to take control of air and sea spaces, Shi explained, stressing that the ability of the armed forces to operate in real combat conditions will be tested.
Taiwan has strongly condemned China’s military maneuvers, launched today by Beijing after a visit to the United States by Taiwanese Vice President William Lai. The Taipei Defense Ministry “strongly condemns this irrational and provocative behavior, and will send adequate forces to respond to it in order to defend Taiwan’s freedom, democracy and sovereignty.” “Conducting a military exercise under a false pretext not only does not contribute to peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, but also highlights China’s militaristic mentality and confirms the hegemonic nature of military expansion,” Beijing said in a statement. of the Taipei dicastery. Taiwan also accused China of an attempt to “shape” the elections scheduled for January 2023 in the country after the military maneuvers launched by Beijing around the island. “The People’s Republic of China wants to influence the upcoming national elections in Taiwan. It is up to our citizens to decide, not our tyrannical neighbor,” Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said on the ministry’s official X account.
The visit to the United States
Lai stopped in New York and San Francisco after a visit to Paraguay, one of the few countries that officially recognizes Taiwan. This trip has aroused the ire of China, which opposes any official contact between Western countries with the Taiwanese island, which it considers its province. Beijing believes such contacts legitimize the Taipei authorities and undermine its claims to sovereignty over Taiwan. Washington had called for calm on Lai’s trip, which according to the Taiwanese authorities was only a “transit” on American soil to go to Paraguay and attend the inauguration of the elected president Santiago Peña. But an official at the Communist Party of China’s office in charge of Taiwan affairs “strongly condemned” Lai’s trip as “another provocation” to “strengthen collusion with the United States.”