Taiwan warns of the deployment of some thirty Chinese aircraft and ships near its coasts

Taiwanese authorities reported Wednesday that the Armed Forces have recorded the deployment of 33 aircraft and four Chinese Army ships in the vicinity of the island.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense said that as of 17.00 (local time), Taiwanese forces have alerted of the deployment in the sea and air space near Taiwan, as it said in a statement.

Thus, it has explained that nine of the aircraft have crossed the so-called “middle line” of the Taiwan Strait, including four J-11 fighters, four J-16s and a Y-8 anti-submarine aircraft.

Taiwan has, for its part, sent an air patrol to monitor the situation and has issued several radio warnings. It has also deployed anti-aircraft missile systems. Defense Minister Chiu Kuo Cheng has stated that Taipei will take action if the Chinese military crosses the “red line.”

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In this regard, he has stressed that the “infiltration of Chinese warplanes” into the island’s airspace would be considered a “first strike,” although he has not qualified what measures Taiwan might take in retaliation.

Tension between the sides has been exacerbated following the visit to the island by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last August. Beijing condemned her visit, which it understood as a sign of support for pro-independence forces on the island.

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