China sends 23 military aircraft, 4 ships to Taiwan strait
Beijing/UNI: The Taiwanese Defense Ministry said on Thursday that the island’s armed forces registered 23 military aircraft and four ships of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) approaching the island in the last 24 hours.
"23 PLA aircraft and 4 PLAN [People's Liberation Army Navy] vessels around Taiwan were detected by 6 a.m. (UTC+8) today," the ministry said on Twitter.
The ministry added that 17 Chinese aircraft, including two J-11 fighters, eight J-16s, three SU-30s, and one BZK-005 drone, crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait.
In turn, Taiwan sent air and sea patrols to monitor the situation and deployed ground-based missile systems, the ministry noted.
The situation around Taiwan escalated after then-US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island in early August. Beijing condemned Pelosi's trip, which it regarded as a gesture of support for separatism, and launched large-scale military exercises in the vicinity of the island.
Despite this fact, several countries, including France, the US, Japan and others, have since sent their delegations to the island, further increasing tensions in the Taiwan Strait.
Taiwan has been governed independently from mainland China since 1949. Beijing views the island as its province, while Taiwan — a territory with its own elected government — maintains that it is an autonomous country but stops short of declaring independence.
Beijing opposes any official contacts of foreign states with Taipei and considers Chinese sovereignty over the island indisputable.