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Taiwan Reports Second Instance of Chinese ‘Combat Patrol’ in Seven Days

Taiwan reports second Chinese 'combat patrol' in a week (Credits: Reuters)

On Thursday, Taiwan’s defense ministry reported that China had conducted a “joint combat readiness patrol” near the island for the second time in a week, escalating tensions between the two nations.

This marks a huge increase in China’s military activities around Taiwan over the past four years, with Beijing viewing the island as its own territory, a claim strongly rejected by the government in Taipei.

According to the ministry, 15 Chinese military aircraft, including Su-30 fighters, participated in the patrol, accompanied by Chinese warships. Ten of the aircraft crossed the Taiwan Strait’s median line, an unofficial border previously respected by China, and entered Taiwan’s air space in the north, centre, and southwest regions. China has recently disregarded the median line, and its military aircraft now regularly cross it.

Taiwan Reports Second Chinese ‘Combat Patrol’ in a Week (Credits: Reuters)

The Chinese defense ministry did not respond to requests for comment, as the country is currently observing its Labour Day holiday. However, Taiwan reported a similar Chinese combat patrol on Saturday, indicating a pattern of increased military activity.

Taiwan’s top security official, Tsai Ming-yen, warned on Wednesday that Taiwan is on high alert for potential Chinese military exercises following the inauguration of President-elect Lai Ching-te later this month. Tsai noted that China has begun employing new tactics, including nighttime combat patrols, which have raised concerns about potential aggression.

PLA to conduct regular combat readiness security patrol in Taiwan Straits (Credits: Global Times)

China dislikes Lai, viewing him as a dangerous separatist. It has rejected his repeated offers of talks, including one made last week. Lai maintains that only the people of Taiwan can decide their future, a stance that has led to increased tensions with Beijing.

The situation highlights the ongoing tensions between Taiwan and China, with Taiwan seeking to assert its independence and China determined to bring the island under its control. The international community is closely monitoring the situation, concerned about the potential for conflict in the region.

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