Taiwan's defense ministry has issued a strong call for China to cease "destructive, unilateral action" in response to a significant increase in Chinese military activities near the island. The ministry expressed concern that such actions could lead to a significant escalation of tensions in the region, Reuters reported.
China, which considers Taiwan as part of its territory, has been conducting regular military exercises near the island to assert its sovereignty claims and exert pressure on Taipei. The defense ministry in Taiwan reported a recent surge in Chinese military activities, with 103 Chinese military aircraft detected in the vicinity over the weekend.
These activities included fighter jets crossing the unofficial median line of the Taiwan Strait, which had previously served as a boundary between the two sides until China began to regularly breach it a year ago. Additionally, other Chinese aircraft flew south of Taiwan through the Bashi Channel, which separates Taiwan from the Philippines.
The Taiwanese defense ministry emphasized that China's actions in the past day have posed "serious challenges" to security in the strait and the broader region. It underscored that the responsibility for peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait should be shared by all parties in the region.
The ministry warned that continuous military provocations by China could lead to a significant escalation of tensions and worsen regional security. It called on Beijing to take responsibility and immediately halt such unilateral and destructive actions.
As of now, China's defense ministry has not responded to requests for comment on the situation.
In addition to the increased air force activities near Taiwan, China recently dispatched more than 100 naval ships for exercises in the region, including the strategic South China Sea and off Taiwan's northeastern coast. A regional security official described these exercises as the "largest in years," putting pressure on all parties in the region.
Taiwan's defense ministry noted that July to September traditionally represents the busiest season for Chinese military drills along the coast. Analysts suggested that while there might not be a direct political motivation for these drills, China appears to be pressuring Taiwan with longer missions across the median line and improving its capabilities for operating fighters further out at sea.
Earlier Daryo reported Chinese President Xi Jinping's leadership has revealed an elaborate strategy to establish Fujian, a southeastern province, as a demonstration area for integrated development with Taiwan.