Nearly a dozen Chinese military aircraft and three naval ships were detected near Taiwan on Monday, amid increased tensions, according to Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense.
In a tweet on Monday, Taiwanese officials said 11 aircraft from the People’s Liberation Army, or PLA, and three vessels from the People’s Liberation Army Navy, or PLAN, were detected at 6 a.m.
It added that seven of the detected aircraft crossed over the median line of the Taiwan Strait, which is an unofficial buffer zone separating Taiwan from China.
This is the second consecutive day – and third day within a week – that China has crossed over the median line of the Taiwan Strait.
On Jan. 8, dozens of Chinese aircraft and four ships were detected near Taiwan, with at least 28 aircraft crossing the median line.
Following the incident on Sunday, the People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater Command said in a statement that they conducted “joint combat readiness patrols and actual combat drills” to “resolutely counter the provocative actions of external forces and Taiwan independence separatist forces.”
As for the incident on Monday, no statement from China had been made.
Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense said its armed forces are monitoring the situation and tasked aircraft, Navy vessels and land-based missile systems with responding to the activities.STATE DEPARTMENT CALLS ON CHINA TO BE MORE TRANSPARENT ON CURRENT COVID-19 SURGE, VIRUS’ ORIGINS
In August, tensions grew after then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan. In recent months, China has picked up the number of combat drills around the island in recent months.
Chinese President Xi Jinping told President Biden at the November G20 summit in Bali that the Taiwan question was the “very core of China’s core interests” and the “first red line” in bilateral ties.
President Biden said after that meeting that he does “not think there’s any imminent attempt on the part of China to invade Taiwan.”