HomeGlobal Defence UpdatesTaiwan detects 19 Chinese military aircraft, seven naval vessels around nation

Taiwan detects 19 Chinese military aircraft, seven naval vessels around nation

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Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence (MND) has detected 19 Chinese military aircraft and seven naval vessels around the country during the last 24 hours until 6 am (local time) on Thursday.

According to Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence, among the 19 Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft, 12 crossed the Taiwan Strait median line. After China’s action, Taiwan sent aircraft and naval ships and deployed air defence missile systems to track the activities of the People’s Liberation Army, Taiwan News reported.

In a statement shared on X, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence stated, “19 PLA aircraft and 7 PLAN vessels operating around Taiwan were detected up until 6 a.m. (UTC+8) today. 12 of the aircraft crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait and entered Taiwan’s northern, southwestern, and eastern ADIZ. ROC Armed Forces have monitored the situation and employed CAP aircraft, Navy vessels, and coastal missile systems in response to the detected activities.”

So far in February, Taiwan has detected Chinese military aircraft 253 times and naval ships 150 times, according to a Taiwan News report. Since September 2020, China has intensified its use of gray zone tactics by increasing the number of military aircraft and naval ships operating around Taiwan.

Gray zone tactics have been described as “effort or series of efforts beyond steady-state deterrence and assurance that attempt to achieve one’s security objectives without resorting to direct and sizable use of force,” Taiwan News reported.

On February 14, the US nominee to helm US Indo-Pacific Command, Admiral Samuel Paparo, warned that China could soon have the capability to use military exercises to conceal an invasion of Taiwan, Taiwan News reported.Admiral Paparo made the remarks at a conference organised by the Defence Innovation Unit in Silicon Valley to discuss ways in which the private sector can collaborate with the US military in leveraging emerging commercial technologies to strengthen America’s defences. Paparo touched on the growing threat by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and ways that the US could use new technologies to deter Beijing. The US Commander further said that despite economic, demographic woes in China, and the corruption scandals within the PLA, Beijing’s leadership is “undaunted in their ambitions.”

He added that these ambitions include the world, the West Pacific, the South China Sea, and “more acutely for Taiwan,” Taiwan News reported. According to Paparo, the PLA within the past three years has achieved “step-level changes” in its force levels and the “jointness” of those forces.

He said that these developments, along with PLA rehearsals demonstrating joint capabilities and the heightened threshold of warnings, indicate that China will soon reach a point at which it will have sufficient forces to launch a “profound military operation” that can be operated “under a fig leaf of exercise.”

At the same time, Paparo said that the “erosion of strategic operational and tactical warning is real” and presents a challenge to the ability of the US and its allies to detect warning signs of a Chinese attack. He said that this could hinder the ability of the US military to be properly positioned to support allies and partners and affect its readiness to defend Taiwan if China should “decide to settle matters with the use of force.”

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