Taiwan accuses 11 Chinese planes of crossing the median line

Taiwan reported that it detected 18 Chinese aircraft operating near the island, of which 11 crossed the median line across the strait.

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry announced on February 13 that it had detected 18 Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft and four PLA naval ships operating near the island. Of these, 11 aircraft crossed the median line, the imaginary boundary that is understood to be the line that demarcates the Taiwan Strait.

The Taiwan Self-Defense Force has deployed fighter jets and warships to monitor the situation. 11 aircraft crossed the median line including 8 J-10, J-11, J-16 fighters, a Z-9 helicopter, a Y-8 anti-submarine aircraft, and a BZK-005 drone.  China has not commented on the information.

The move comes amid a recent increase in tensions between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. China considers Taiwan a province awaiting reunification and has vowed to use force if necessary.

The Financial Times today quoted Taiwanese officials as saying that Chinese balloons regularly flew into the island’s airspace, the last time “a few weeks ago”, possibly for military purposes. According to Taiwanese officials, Chinese balloons usually fly at an altitude of 6km. They are very different in size and payload than the weather balloons, which are allowed to enter other countries’ airspace without prior permission. according to international law.

China has not commented on the information. Taiwan’s National Defense Agency just confirmed an incident in February 2022, with Chinese balloons flying over the island’s northern part.

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