HONG KONG, September 14. /TASS/. Taiwan’s armed forces have recorded 68 aircraft and 10 ships of China’s People's Liberation Army (PLA) approaching the island over the past 24 hours, the Taiwanese Defense Ministry said in a statement on the X social media platform (formerly known as Twitter).
According to the statement, "68 PLA aircraft and 10 PLAN vessels around Taiwan were detected by 6 a.m.(UTC+8) today. R.O.C. Armed Forces have monitored the situation and tasked CAP aircraft, Navy vessels, and land-based missile systems to respond these activities."
Earlier, the defense agency reported that on Wednesday morning, the island’s armed forces tracked the approach of 35 Chinese aircraft with 28 of them crossing the so-called median line of the Taiwan Strait or entered the Taiwan Air Defense Identification Zone. According to the ministry, several aircraft headed over the Bashi Channel toward the Western Pacific to conduct joint drills with the Shandong aircraft carrier.
The Taiwan Air Defense Identification Zone, declared unilaterally, covers an area of 492,000 square kilometers and considerably exceeds the island’s airspace. It also spans the waters around it, the Taiwan Strait and part of the airspace over the Fujian, Jiangxi and Zhejiang provinces in mainland China.
The PLA regularly sends its ships and aircraft to the vicinity of Taiwan amid exacerbated relations between the two sides following a visit by Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi to the island on August 2-3, 2022. Later, Taiwan was visited by several other delegations of US legislators and officials. Beijing views such visits as provocations, interference in China’s domestic affairs and support for Taiwanese separatists.
Taiwan has been governed by its local administration since 1949 when the remaining Kuomintang forces led by Chiang Kai-shek (1887-1975) fled to the island after being defeated in China’s civil war. Since then, Taiwan has preserved the flag and some other symbols of the Republic of China that had existed in mainland China before the Communists came to power. Beijing regards the island as one of its provinces and this position is supported by most countries, including Russia.