China continues Strait drills for third day

  • Bloomberg and CNA Jake Chan/Staff Writer

China conducted three consecutive days of live-fire exercises off mainland Taiwan yesterday, and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Eastern Military Region Command said the exercises focused on surface artillery and maritime strike capabilities. .

China has arbitrarily set up restricted airspace around mainland Taiwan, unilaterally changed the “status quo” in the Taiwan Strait, and disrupted peace in the Asia-Pacific region, the defense ministry said.

The ministry said it had tracked about 20 planes and 14 ships operating near the strait’s central line as of 5pm yesterday.

Photo: Military News Agency

About ten Sukhoi Su-30s and four J-11s crossed the median line and approached mainland Taiwan from China’s Fujian and Zhejiang provinces, followed by four J-16s and one Y-8 transport aircraft. , one Y-20 tanker flew into Taiwan’s air defenses. The ministry said it returned in the same manner as the identification zone from the southwest.

A photo released yesterday by the People’s Liberation Army showed a Chinese naval vessel facing off against a Taiwanese Knox-class frigate near Taiwan’s east coast. Another photo shows a Chinese plane approaching Taiwanese airspace, taking pictures of Taiwan’s coast and central mountains.

According to China’s state-run Global Times, the photos show Chinese forces approaching Taiwan closer than ever before.

Photo: CNA

All Chinese warships and planes that crossed the central line were alerted and immediately sent back across the central line, the ministry said, adding that they suspected they were simulating an attack on Taiwan. rice field.

The Air Force said yesterday that it is continuously monitoring China’s movements, adding that the Patriot-III missile system is ready to protect the country’s airspace.

In Taipei, the military news agency released a photo taken by the Air Force showing the location of the Air Defense Missile Command.

A major named Chou said the command had completed combat readiness as directed by superiors and was ready to respond to any situation.

Taiwan is tracking enemy planes and missiles and its soldiers are determined and ready to defend the country, Chou said.

Meanwhile, drills have hampered shipments and merchant ships are reconsidering loading cargo at Taiwanese ports, which could cause delays in shipments of electronic products.

Shipowners, worried about a possible missile attack, are choosing to let their ships rest and burn excess fuel until training is over.

The vessel is anchoring at sea to avoid the drill zone off Kaohsiung, said Jayendu Krishna, deputy head of consulting firm Drewry Maritime Advisors.

One of the largest areas where China conducts exercises, the zone is 15 nautical miles (27.78 km) from the Kaohsiung harbor entrance.

The Strait is an important route in the supply chain, with almost half of the world’s container fleet transiting this year.

Vessels continue to transit the Strait during military exercises, but are navigating the training area.

The Maritime and Port Authority on Thursday instructed ships to avoid areas east of Taiwan where China said it would conduct exercises until tomorrow.

The maritime security bureau in the eastern Chinese city of Lianyungang said China is also practicing firing weapons in the southern Yellow Sea.

The training will last 10 days until August 15th.

In Taipei, the military said yesterday that troops on the main island of Kinmen County and nearby small islands detected four unmanned aerial vehicles flying near the coast.

According to the military’s Kinmen Defense Command, four drones were spotted flying over the restricted waters of the main islands of Yeolyu and Beikari.

Maj. Gen. Zhang Rong-shun of the Kinmen Defense Force Command said Taiwan opened fire to repel the drones.

According to the Army Command, similar drones were also detected flying over Liangdao (Liangdao) and Dongyin Island (dongyin) in Lianjiang County.

Drones were spotted near Kinmen’s main island and Beiding Island on Wednesday night ahead of the Chinese drills.

Additional reporting by Wu Suwei

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