Defense officials in Taiwan said they were monitoring Chinese military aircraft and vessels that had veered close to the island and had its military respond to “these activities,” they said.
“29 (People’s Liberation Army) PLA aircraft and 3 PLAN vessels around Taiwan were detected by 6 a.m.(UTC+8) today, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense tweeted Tuesday morning local time. R.O.C. Armed Forces have monitored the situation and tasked CAP aircraft, Navy vessels, and land-based missile systems to respond these activities.”
A subsequent tweet said 21 Chinese aircraft had entered Taiwan’s southeast Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).
A day earlier, Taiwan defense officials said Chinese military planes and ships were also detected near the country’s borders.
Government officials in Taiwan believe China is preparing a pretext for an attack on the island following a year of military threats and incursions.
Joseph Wu, Taiwan’s foreign minister, told The Guardian that China was “getting more serious than ever.” China recently staged military live-fire drills around Taiwan after Houston Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island.
The Chinese military was reportedly practicing blockades at sea and missile launches, as well as combat on land. The Chinese military is utilizing advanced technology in the drills, including J-20 stealth fighter jets and DF-17 hypersonic missiles.
“And we are quite sure that the Chinese may want to use another pretext of practicing their future attacks against Taiwan. So this is a military threat against Taiwan,” Wu told the newspaper.