Taiwan’s defense minister said China’s recent military activities were “abnormal”, following a spike in Chinese warplane incursions around the island this week.
China claims Taiwan’s self-rule as its territory and has insisted it will one day take it – by force if necessary.
Beijing carries out air raids around the island almost daily, and on Monday Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense reported a “recent high” of 103 warplanes in a 24-hour period.
“Our enemy’s recent movements are really quite abnormal,” Taiwan Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng told reporters outside parliament in Taipei on Friday.
“Our initial analysis is that they conducted joint exercises until September, including land, sea, air and amphibious exercises,” he said.
His comments came a day after the ministry said it was “monitoring China’s long-range artillery, missile forces and ground forces around Dacheng Bay in Fujian province” – an area opposite the island across the Taiwan Strait.
“The threat posed by the PLA (People’s Liberation Army) activities has led to an escalation of tension and damaged regional security,” ministry spokesman Sun Li-fang said on Thursday, referring to the Chinese military.
“The closer the PLA aircraft are to Taiwan, the stronger our countermeasures will be.”
China has made no official comment on Monday’s massive show of force, although the state-run Global Times said the “relevant combat training activities are necessary actions to protect national sovereignty.”
Since Monday, dozens more planes have been detected around Taiwan, many of which briefly crossed the so-called median line that bisects the Taiwan Strait – a 180-kilometer-long waterway that separates the island from China.
On Friday morning, the Defense Ministry said 32 Chinese aircraft had been detected in the past 24 hours, and published a map illustrating the flight path of 17 planes that crossed the center line.
Two of them, according to the map, ventured around the southern tip of Taiwan.
Earlier this week, US Pentagon officials said a direct invasion by China would not be easy because of Taiwan’s mountainous terrain and lack of landing beaches.
They also said that combining amphibious and airborne operations would be “extremely complicated”.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by DailyExpertNews staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)