Taiwan tracks 91 Chinese aircraft, 12 naval ships

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TAIPEI: Taiwan tracked the People’s Liberation Army’s 91 aircraft and 12 naval ships from 6 am on Monday (April 10) to Tuesday (April 11).

In an official release, Taiwan’s Defence Ministry stated, “91 PLA aircraft and 12 PLAN vessels around Taiwan were detected by 6 a.m.(UTC+8) today. 54 of the detected aircraft had crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait and entered Taiwan’s southwest and southeast ADIZ.”

“Yesterday, China completed the third day of live-fire drills but still, there are 8 vessels that are operating in the waters surrounding Taiwan,” Taiwan’s Defence Ministry said.

The island country’s armed forces was monitoring the situation and tasked CAP aircraft, Navy vessels, and land-based missile systems to respond in the event of an emergency.

On Monday, China’s Eastern Command said in a statement that the exercise “completely tested the integrated joint combat ability of multiple military branches under actual combat conditions”, Al Jazeera reported.

“If we want to protect peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait we must firmly oppose any form of Taiwan independence separatism,” Foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a regular briefing on Monday.

According to Al Jazeera’s report, Shi Yi, the PLA Eastern Theater Command’s spokesperson, stated that China’s military will be ready at all times to defeat any form of “Taiwan Independence” and foreign interference attempts.

Chinese fighter jets and warships conducted simulated strikes on Taiwan during the weekend. Beijing’s actions sparked protests in Taiwan. Beijing’s drills on Monday are expected to include live-fire exercises off of China’s Fujian province, located only about 80km (50 miles) south of Taiwan’s Matsu islands, Al Jazeera reported.

China began three-day military drills around Taiwan called “Joint Sword” after Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen met with US House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Taking to its official Twitter handle, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence said, “#Taiwan is our homeland, and no matter where we go or what we encounter, she is always charming and beautiful. Every story on this land is etched in our memories. We, #ROCArmedForces, are fighting with all our heart to defend our homeland and to protect our home together.” (ANI)

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