At least eight Chinese military planes and three navy ships were detected near Taiwan on Tuesday, the fourth such incident in the past week amid heightened tensions in the region.
Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense tweeted on Tuesday that eight People’s Liberation Army Navy aircraft and three ships were detected around 6 a.m.
The Defense Ministry said its armed forces have been monitoring the situation and tasked CAP aircraft, navy ships and land-based missile systems to respond to these activities.
The Department of National Defense said two of the planes detected – an SU-30 and a Y8-EW – crossed the center line of the Taiwan Strait, the unofficial buffer zone separating Taiwan from mainland China, and entered the Southwest Taiwan Air Defense Identification Zone.
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Tuesday marked the third day in a row – and the fourth in the past week – that the Chinese military has crossed the center line of the Taiwan Strait.
Early Monday morning, nearly a dozen Chinese military aircraft and three warships were detected near the island nation.
Following another incident the day before, the PLA said it had conducted combat drills focusing on land strikes, sea assaults and other topics.
The drills, the PLA said, were meant to “test the troops’ joint combat capability and resolutely counter the collusive and provocative acts of outside forces and ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist forces.”
China made no similar statement after its actions on Tuesday.
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China has intensified its pressure on the Taiwanese military in recent years by sending fighter jets or navy ships almost daily to the self-governing island, which China claims as its own territory. Taiwan broke away from the mainland in 1949 after a civil war.
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said the actions in recent days “have seriously disrupted peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and surrounding waters.”
In late December, China sent a record number of 71 aircraft and 7 ships to Taiwan, the largest such exercise in 2022.
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Taiwan will hold its annual two-day military drills starting Wednesday. The exercise ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday aims to showcase its defense capabilities.
Fox News’ Greg Wehner and The Associated Press contributed to this report.