Taiwan Says Chinese Army May Be Conducting ‘Possible Simulated Attack' Against Island
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Taiwan Defense Ministry said Saturday that China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) may be carrying out a simulated attack against the self-ruled island.
"Multiple PLA craft were detected around the Taiwan Strait, some have crossed the median line," it said on Twitter, calling the motive a “possible simulated attack”, Anadolu news agency reported.
"#ROC Armed Forces (Taiwan armed forces) have utilized alert broadcast, aircraft in CAP, patrolling naval vessels, and land-based missile systems in response to this situation," it added, referring to combat air patrol.
PLA warships and warplanes came so close to the Taiwan island Friday that sailors and pilots could visually confirm its coastline and the Central Mountain Range, according to Global Times, a state-affiliated China media outlet.
Beijing launched massive military exercises surrounding Taiwan earlier this week after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the self-ruled island, bucking Chinese warnings. Beijing views Taiwan as its “breakaway province" despite Taipei having governed itself since 1949. It has vowed to reunify the island, including by force if necessary.
As part of its major military exercises near Taiwan and eight countermeasures to respond to the situation, China on Friday dispatched the largest number of military aircraft across the Taiwan Strait this year, according to the Defense Ministry of the self-ruled island.
The ministry said 68 Chinese jets have crossed what is known as the median line of the Taiwan Strait.
“This dangerous escalation of the military threat is wrecking peace and stability in the region and must be condemned,” said Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joshua Wu.
It is the highest number of Chinese jets this year that have crossed the air defense identification zone -- which Taiwan identifies as its airspace. China does not recognize the zone.
Beijing went further to sanction Pelosi and her immediate family members, making her the highest-ranking US politician sanctioned by China.
The US sharply rebuked China for choosing to suspend dialogue on military issues and climate change as announced by China, with National Security Council Spokesman John Kirby calling them "fundamentally irresponsible" decisions.