Taiwan monitors 27 Chinese military aircraft, 7 naval ships near its borders

Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense tracked 27 Chinese military aircraft and seven naval vessels near Taiwan, prompting a response from Taiwan’s military. This escalation follows a pattern of increased Chinese activity around Taiwan in recent months.

Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) detected a notable increase in Chinese military presence surrounding the island, monitoring 27 aircraft and seven naval vessels from 6 a.m. Wednesday to 6 a.m. Thursday.

According to the MND, of the 27 People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft monitored, six breached the Taiwan Strait median line, while 12 entered the southwest corner of Taiwan’s Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ). Additionally, one helicopter was observed in the southeast ADIZ.

In response to the heightened activity, Taiwan mobilized its aircraft and naval ships, deploying coastal defence missile systems to monitor PLA movements. This comes after Tuesday’s escalation, during which 45 PLA aircraft were tracked in Taiwan’s ADIZ.

This surge in Chinese military activity aligns with a broader trend observed in recent months. Taiwan has reported tracking Chinese military aircraft 208 times and naval vessels 80 times just this month. Since September 2020, China has increasingly employed grey zone tactics, gradually escalating the presence of military assets around Taiwan.

Gray zone tactics involve actions that fall short of outright military confrontation but aim to achieve strategic objectives. By incrementally increasing the number of military aircraft and naval vessels near Taiwan, China appears to be exerting pressure on the island nation.

The continuous use of gray zone tactics underscores the complex geopolitical dynamics at play in the region, with Taiwan remaining a flashpoint in Sino-U.S. relations. As tensions persist, Taiwan remains vigilant, closely monitoring Chinese military movements while balancing diplomatic efforts to maintain stability in the region.