Taiwan Responds as Chinese Military Breaches Median Line

Taiwan detects 11 Chinese military aircraft and 8 naval vessels near its coast, with 8 aircraft crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait. Taiwan responds by deploying CAP aircraft, naval vessels, and coastal missile systems to monitor the situation.

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Nitish Verma
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Taiwan Responds as Chinese Military Breaches Median Line

Taiwan Responds as Chinese Military Breaches Median Line

Taiwan's Ministry of National Defence has detected a significant presence of Chinese military aircraft and naval vessels operating near its coast. On Saturday, 11 Chinese military aircraft and 8 naval vessels were detected in the vicinity of Taiwan from 6 am to 6 am the following day. Of particular concern, 8 of the aircraft crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait and entered Taiwan's Southwest Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ).

In response to the Chinese activity, Taiwan deployed CAP aircraft, naval vessels, and coastal missile systems. According to a statement from Taiwan's MND, "11 PLA aircraft and 8 PLAN vessels operating around Taiwan were detected up until 6 a.m. (UTC+8) today. 8 of the aircraft crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait and entered Taiwan's southwestern ADIZ. ROC Armed Forces have monitored the situation and employed CAP aircraft, Navy vessels, and coastal missile systems in response to the detected activities." says

Why this matters: The increased military activity in the Taiwan Strait region raises concerns about the potential for conflict between China and Taiwan, which could have far-reaching implications for regional and global stability. The situation also highlights the need for diplomatic efforts to reduce tensions and prevent miscalculations that could lead to catastrophic consequences.

This increased activity in the Taiwan Strait region comes amidst growing geopolitical tensions between Taiwan and China. Taiwan has long been a point of contention for Beijing, which considers the island a renegade province and has repeatedly expressed intentions to reunify it with the mainland, even if by force. China has intensified its use of "grey zone tactics" since September 2020, operating more military aircraft and naval ships near Taiwan in an effort to achieve its security objectives without resorting to direct and sizable use of force.

Taiwan's President-elect Lai Ching-te, who will take office on May 20, is seen as a "dangerous separatist" by China, which has rejected his offers of talks. Lai, like current President Tsai Ing-wen, rejects Beijing's sovereignty claims and believes only the island's people can decide their future. Deputy Defence Minister Po Horng-huei stated, "Before and after May 20, our nation's military will uphold all combat readiness requirements and pay close attention to the damaging of regional peace and stability by the other side."

The incident on Saturday highlights the increased risk of conflict between China and Taiwan, with the United States also involved in the region. China's military activities in and around the Taiwan Strait are seen as destabilizing for the whole Indo-Pacific. In the past four years, China's military has increased its activities around Taiwan, including regularly flying warplanes over the median line of the Taiwan Strait, which China does not recognize. The militarization of foreign policy and the failure to grasp the full significance of that militarization have brought the United States, China, and Taiwan to the "edge of chaos," where one accident or bad decision could lead to a catastrophic war.

Key Takeaways

  • Taiwan detects 11 Chinese military aircraft and 8 naval vessels near its coast.
  • 8 aircraft crossed the Taiwan Strait median line, entering Taiwan's ADIZ.
  • Taiwan responds with CAP aircraft, naval vessels, and coastal missile systems.
  • Increased military activity raises concerns about potential conflict and regional instability.
  • Taiwan's President-elect Lai Ching-te is seen as a "dangerous separatist" by China.