International

Taiwan Tracks Dozens Of Chinese Warplanes, Navy Vessels Off Its Coast On 2nd Day Of Drills

Taiwan's new President Lai Ching-te told sailors and top security officials on Thursday, 'Facing external challenges and threats, we will continue to maintain the values of freedom and democracy,' as he visited a marine base in Taoyuan, located in southern part of Taipei.

AP
Chinese vessels are seen near Taiwan Photo: AP
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Dozens of Chinese warplanes and navy vessels were tracked by Taiwan on Friday off its coast amid the large exercise held by China's People's Liberation Army for inauguration of the new leadership in the island.

It is the send day of the ruling Communist Party's military wing's exercise and China has told the media that Taiwan is being surrounded by their forces.

According to Associated Press, a new video on Friday showed animated Chinese forces approaching from all sides and Taiwan being enclosed within a circular target area.

What Is Happening In Taiwan?

The 23 million population of Taiwan who have under threat of Chinese invasion since the sides divided during a bitter and bloody civil war in 1949, has a little sign of concern.

On Friday, Taiwan's parliament witnessed a dispute between political parties regarding procedural matters, while business carried on as usual in the capital Taipei.

The Taiwan defense ministry stated that it tracked 49 warplanes and 19 navy vessels, as well as Chinese coast guard vessels, and that 35 of the planes flew across the median of the Taiwan Strait, the de facto boundary between the sides, over a 24-hour period from Thursday to Friday.

Marine and coast guard vessels, air and ground-based missile units have all been put on alert, particularly around the Taiwan-controlled island chains of Kinmen and Matsu located just off the China coast and far from Taiwan's main island, roughly 160 kilometers (100 miles) across the Taiwan Strait.

What Is Taiwan's Newly-Elected Leader Saying?

Taiwan's new President Lai Ching-te told sailors and top security officials on Thursday, “Facing external challenges and threats, we will continue to maintain the values of freedom and democracy,” as he visited a marine base in Taoyuan, located in southern part of Taipei.

In his inauguration speech on Monday, Lai had called on Beijing to stop its military intimidation and said Taiwan was "a sovereign independent nation in which sovereignty lies in the hands of the people”.

How Has China Responded?

In a statement issued by China's military, it declared that its two-day exercises conducted around Taiwan were targeted to punish separatist groups advocating for independence.

The military frequently dispatches navy vessels and warplanes into the Taiwan Strait and other regions surrounding the island on a near-daily basis. This strategic move is intended to weaken Taiwan's defenses and instill fear among its people, who staunchly support the island's independence.

“As soon as the leader of Taiwan took office, he challenged the one-China principle and blatantly sold the two-state theory',” China's Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Chen Binhua said in a statement on Thursday night.

The one-China principle asserts that there is only one China and that Taiwan is part of China under Communist Party rule., said AP report.

Beijing views Taiwan as a renegade province and has been upping its threats to annex it by force if necessary.

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