“8 PLAN vessels and 23 PLA aircraft around our surrounding region were detected today (August 28, 2022) until 1700(GMT+8). #ROCArmedForces have monitored the situation and responded to these activities with aircraft in CAP, naval vessels, and land-based missile systems,” tweeted Ministry of National Defence, Taiwan.
Earlier on Saturday, Taiwan had tracked 21 aircraft and five ships from China’s military around the country by 5 pm as the vice chairman of the Kuomintang (KMT) arrived home from a controversial trip.
None of the 21 People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) warplanes crossed the median line over the Taiwan Strait, with most of the aircraft appearing in the southwest sector of the country’s air defence identification zone (ADIZ), reported Taiwan News.
The planes included seven Shenyang J-16 fighter jets, four Xi’an H-6 bombers, and two Chengdu J-10 multi-role combat aircraft, the ministry said on Twitter.
Taiwan tasked Combat Air Patrols (CAP), Navy ships, and land-based air defence missile systems to monitor and respond to the Chinese activities, while also issuing radio warnings, reported Taiwan News.
The incursions came as KMT Vice Chairman Andrew Hsia returned to Taipei after spending more than two weeks in China on a visit which was widely criticized as it came during large-scale military manoeuvres threatening Taiwan, CNA reported.
While the KMT official said the focus of his trip was to meet Taiwanese students and business people, he also attended a dinner with Zhang Zhijun, the head of China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS).
Meanwhile, two United States Navy warships have entered the Taiwan Strait in the first such transit since China staged unprecedented military drills around the island post US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi‘s visit.
On Sunday, the guided-missile cruisers USS Antietam and USS Chancellorsville were making their voyage “through waters where high seas freedoms of navigation and overflight apply in accordance with the international law,” the US 7th Fleet in Japan said in a statement as quoted in CNN.
A 110-mile strait is a stretch of water that separates the democratic self-ruled island of Taiwan from mainland China.
Beijing claims sovereignty over Taiwan despite China’s ruling Communist Party never having controlled the island — and considers the strait part of its “internal waters.”