Taiwan: 25 Chinese planes, 3 ships enter island
March 4, 2023

Taipei, Taiwan – Tensions between China and Taiwan escalated yet again on Wednesday as Taiwan reported that 25 Chinese military planes and three ships were detected heading towards the island.

According to Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense, the 25 Chinese planes were spotted flying over the Bashi Channel, which is located between Taiwan and the Philippines. In addition to the planes, Taiwan also detected three Chinese naval vessels sailing in waters southwest of Taiwan.

Taiwan immediately responded by dispatching air patrols, activating missile defense system, and tracking the Chinese vessels’ movements.

The latest incident follows a series of provocations by China towards Taiwan in recent months. Chinese military planes have frequently entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone. Similar event occurred in 2021, when Nancy Pelosi, then US house speaker, visited Taiwan. China conducted military exercises in the Taiwan Strait, including the deployment of fighter jets and naval vessels near Taiwan.

China does not only intimidate Taiwan through military might but also through relentless diplomatic efforts and economic coercion.

China wants to isolate Taiwan diplomatically by pressuring countries to break ties with the island and refusing to recognize its sovereignty.

On the economic front, China is restricting Taiwan’s access to its market and pressuring foreign companies to avoid doing business with the island.

Taiwan, on its part has acquired modern weaponry including fleet of F-16’s, M1A2T tanks, and electrical submarines from the US. It has also ordered 66 F-16V fighter jets from the United States that will provide a deterrence against potential Chinese aggression.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has also been forcing a revival of the domestic military industry, including the production of conventionally powered submarines, in addition to placing fresh hardware orders with the United States.

The United States, which is Taiwan’s main ally, has expressed concern over China’s actions towards Taiwan. In a statement, the US State Department urged China to refrain from destabilizing activities and to engage in meaningful dialogue with Taiwan.

The US-China rivalry has been intensifying in recent years, with the two countries engaged in a trade war and competing for influence in various regions of the world including the South China Sea. Taiwan is one of the flashpoints in this rivalry, with the US seeking to counter China’s growing assertiveness in the region.

China has repeatedly claimed that Taiwan is a part of its territory and has threatened to use military force to bring the island under its control if necessary. Taiwan, for its part, has repeatedly stated that it is an independent, sovereign nation and has called on the international community to support its right to self-determination.

The latest incident in the Taiwan Strait underscores the need for all parties to exercise restraint and to engage in dialogue to find a peaceful resolution to their differences.

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