Taiwan Detects 41 Chinese Aircraft Around Island Amid Rising Tensions

Taiwan’s defense ministry reported on Saturday that it had detected 41 Chinese military aircraft around the island within a 24-hour period. This activity follows a stern warning from Beijing that “diehard” advocates of Taiwan’s independence could face the death penalty.

China, which claims self-ruled democratic Taiwan as part of its territory, has repeatedly asserted that it would not renounce the use of force to bring the island under its control. In recent years, Beijing has increased pressure on Taipei, conducting military exercises around the island, especially following the inauguration of Taiwan’s new leader, Lai Ching-te, last month.

The defense ministry in Taipei stated that during the 24-hour period leading up to 6 a.m. (2200 GMT) on Saturday, it had detected 41 Chinese military aircraft and seven naval vessels operating in the vicinity of Taiwan.

“Thirty-two of the aircraft crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait,” the ministry reported. The median line is an unofficial boundary that bisects the 180-kilometer (110-mile) waterway separating Taiwan from China. The ministry added that it had “monitored the situation and responded accordingly.”

This latest incursion follows the publication of judicial guidelines by China on Friday, which included the death penalty for “particularly serious” cases involving “diehard” supporters of Taiwanese independence, according to state media.

Earlier, on May 25, Taiwan recorded the highest single-day total this year of Chinese military aircraft around the island, detecting 62 aircraft during a 24-hour window. This spike in activity occurred as China conducted military drills in reaction to Lai’s inauguration, whom Beijing views as a “dangerous separatist.”

As tensions continue to escalate, Taiwan remains vigilant, monitoring Chinese military movements and preparing responses to safeguard its sovereignty and security.


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