Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence (MND) on February 5 said that they had detected five Chinese military vessels and two aircraft around Taiwan between 6 am (local time) on February 4 and 6 am (local time) on February 5, Taiwan News reported.
Following China’s action, Taiwan sent aircraft and naval ships and deployed air defence missile systems to keep a watch on the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) activity, according to the MND.
According to Taiwan’s MND, no PLA aircraft crossed the Taiwan Strait median line or entered the southwest corner of Taiwan’s air defence identification zone (ADIZ) during that time, according to a Taiwan News report.
In a post on X, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence stated, “2 PLA aircraft and 5 PLAN vessels operating around Taiwan were detected up until 6 am. (UTC+8) today. #ROCArmedForces have monitored the situation and employed appropriate forces to respond.”
So far in February, Taiwan has detected 27 Chinese military aircraft and 19 naval ships. Since September 2020, China has intensified its use of gray zone tactics by incrementally increasing the number of military aircraft and naval ships that are functioning around Taiwan.
Gray zone tactics are “an effort or series of efforts beyond steady-state deterrence and assurance that attempts to achieve one’s security objectives without resort to direct and sizable use of force,” Taiwan News reported.
It is not the first time Taiwan has made such a move. On February 4, Taiwan’s Ministry of Defence said that seven PLA aircraft and four PLAN vessels operating around Taiwan were detected. Notably, China’s Communist Party considers Taiwan its own territory despite never having controlled it.
In a post on X, the Taiwan Ministry of National Defence stated, “7 PLA aircraft and 4 PLAN vessels operating around Taiwan were detected up until 6 am. (UTC+8) today. 1 of the aircraft crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait and entered Taiwan’s SW ADIZ. #ROCArmedForces monitored the situation and employed appropriate forces to respond.”
7 PLA aircraft and 4 PLAN vessels operating around Taiwan were detected up until 6 a.m. (UTC+8) today. 1 of the aircraft crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait and entered Taiwan’s SW ADIZ. #ROCArmedForces monitored the situation and employed appropriate forces to respond. pic.twitter.com/Wupewp33qo
— 國防部 Ministry of National Defense, R.O.C. 🇹🇼 (@MoNDefense) February 4, 2024
On January 31, Taiwan’s Marine Corps held a maritime drill at the Zuoying Naval Base in Kaohsiung, featuring a mine-laying ship and a domestically built assault boat that carried out maritime surveillance and combat operations to simulate defending against a Chinese invasion, Focus Taiwan reported.
The manoeuvres, which took place in waters around Zuoying Harbour, were designed to test the Marine Corps’ ability to identify Chinese military movements quickly as well as their combat preparedness and capability.
During the exercise, the Taiwan Navy made an emergency departure from the harbour with a minelayer and an indigenous M109 assault boat and performed a variety of actions, including surveillance and the use of radar systems and drones to alert battleship forces to approaching hostile forces, reported Focus Taiwan.
Officers and troops on the M109 assault boat told CNA that during the drills, the M109 assault boat played an important part in the operation by bringing sea and land forces together to respond to China’s “gray zone” actions near Taiwan while maintaining maritime safety.
(with inputs from ANI)