News Brief

Taiwan Claims China Becoming "More And More Provocative" Ahead Of President-elect's Inauguration, Reports 45 Intrusions In 24 Hours

Swarajya Staff

May 15, 2024, 08:08 PM | Updated 08:08 PM IST


Taiwan's defense ministry reported on Wednesday (15 May) that 45 Chinese warplanes had entered its airspace within 24 hours. This record number of daily sorties by Chinese aircraft in 2024 comes just before President-elect Lai Ching-te's inauguration on 20 May.

The ministry noted that "26 of the aircraft crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait," referring to the unofficial boundary that bisects the 180-kilometer (110-mile) waterway separating Taiwan and China. Beijing does not recognize this boundary.

Additionally, according to the statement from Taiwan's defence ministry, six Chinese Navy vessels were detected in the area.

Taipei emphasised that it was closely monitoring the situation and called on Beijing to exercise restraint.

"Since late April, they have become more and more provocative," a senior Taiwanese security official said.

China has increased its military presence near Taiwan, including simulating mock attack drills on foreign vessels as Taiwan prepares to inaugurate its new president.

On 11-12 May, about 10 Chinese vessels, including frigates and coast guard boats, were seen near Taiwan, with some approaching its contiguous zone, according to government reports.

President-elect Lai Ching-te, who won the January election and is set to succeed President Tsai Ing-wen, is seen by Beijing as a "dangerous separatist," further heightening tensions.

Lai, who has served as vice president for the past four years, extended another offer for talks with Beijing on Tuesday, pledging to maintain peace across the strait. However, Beijing has rejected his previous offers for dialogue.

Beijing claims democratic Taiwan as part of its territory, while Lai, like outgoing President Tsai, rejects this claim.

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