Taiwan says China’s air force and navy are conducting massive exercise near the island

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By Webdesk

The defense ministry says it is monitoring the situation after Chinese air force planes appeared to be coordinating with ships in joint training to southern Taiwan.

China’s air force and navy are organizing a large-scale exercise involving fighter jets, bombers and warships for southern and southwest Taiwan, according to the island’s self-governing defense ministry.

China, which claims democratic Taiwan as its own territory, has regularly sent fighter jets to Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone, or ADIZ, in recent years to ramp up military pressure on the island’s government.

China staged war games around Taiwan last August and again in April. Since August, China has regularly flown military aircraft over the centerline of the Taiwan Strait, which previously served as an unofficial barrier between the two areas.

Beijing does not rule out the use of force to take control of Taiwan.

Taiwan’s defense ministry said in a statement Wednesday that it had detected 32 Chinese Air Force aircraft entering the island’s ADIZ in the past 24 hours.

The aircraft included four nuclear-capable H-6 bombers, which flew to southern Taiwan and the Pacific before returning to China, according to a map shared by the ministry.

Late Tuesday, the ministry said Chinese air force aircraft were acting in coordination with Chinese ships to conduct joint training to southern Taiwan, and four Chinese warships were engaged in “combat readiness patrols”.

Taiwan sent its own planes and ships to monitor Chinese activities, the ministry added.

The ADIZ is a wider area that Taiwan monitors and patrols to give its armed forces more time to respond to threats.

China has not commented on the latest exercises or any others reported by Taiwan in the past month.

In June, Taiwan said eight Chinese warplanes had passed the centerline and were approaching close to the island’s bordering zone, which is 24 nautical miles (44 km) off the coast.

Taiwan defines its territorial space as 12 nautical miles (22 km) from the coast, though the government has not reported Chinese aircraft entering Taiwan’s contiguous zone or territorial airspace.

Taiwan’s government rejects China’s claims of sovereignty, saying only the island’s people can decide their future.

It is preparing for the annual Han Kuang military exercises, which begin on July 24.

They are expected to focus on homeland defense, force maintenance and civil-military coordination.

Some of the exercises will simulate an attack by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and the Taiwanese military’s efforts to maintain its forces, Major General Lin Wen-huang, head of the defense ministry’s joint operation planning division, told reporters on Wednesday. .

There will also be a simulated PLA airborne assault at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.

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