The Chinese military has been conducting large-scale military exercises around Taiwan

Taipei, Taiwan

China Taiwan’s defense ministry said it sent 28 warplanes through the middle of the Taiwan Strait on Sunday as Beijing conducted its first large-scale island-wide military drills this year.

28 People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft 57 were spotted nearby TaiwanThe ministry said they included J-10, J-11, J-16 and Su-30 fighter jets, H-6 bombers, three drones and an early warning and reconnaissance aircraft.

Taiwan has deployed aircraft, naval vessels and land-based missile systems to respond to Chinese actions, the ministry said.

A map provided by the ministry showed that the PLA aircraft crossed the line of demarcation at seven points from north to south, flew through Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) south of the island, and turned north just east of the line.

A statement from the PLA’s Eastern Theater Command said its forces engaged in combat exercises around Taiwan on Sunday.

“The exercise focused on ground attacks, sea attacks and other matters, aimed at testing the joint combat capability of the troops and resolutely countering the joint and provocative actions of external forces and ‘Taiwan Independence’ separatist forces,” the released statement said. State-run Chinese Army Online.

China’s ruling Communist Party considers Taiwan – a democratically governed island of 24 million people – part of its territory, although it has never controlled it. It has long vowed to “reunite” the island with the Chinese mainland, by force if necessary.

Combat training follows Similar on December 25According to Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense, the PLA sent 47 aircraft to the median line of the Taiwan Strait, of which a total of 71 were spotted around the island.

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China’s military drills came three days after a US Navy destroyer sailed through the Taiwan Strait on Sunday in a “freedom of navigation” operation, the first reported maritime visit by the US Navy this year.

A US 7th Fleet statement said the USS Chung-hoon “passed through a corridor in the strait beyond the territorial sea of ​​any coastal state,” adding that its passage “demonstrates the commitment of a free and open Indo-US Pacific.”

China said it was monitoring the movement of the US warship and that all its movements were “under control”.

A story in the state-run Global Times newspaper said the PLA will intensify its exercises around Taiwan if provocations by outside powers and “Taiwan Independence” forces continue.

The Global Times story cited traffic in the Taiwan Strait and US destroyers Potential $180 Million US Arms Sale to Taiwan Approved by the Biden administration on December 28.

The sale of vehicle-launched anti-tank munitions systems “serves U.S. national, economic, and security interests by supporting the recipient’s ongoing efforts to modernize their armed forces and maintain a credible defense capability,” the U.S. State Department statement said.

Washington has long supplied arms to Taiwan under the terms of the Taiwan Relations Act, which says the US will provide the island with the means to defend itself.

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