Taiwan surrounded by China: the scenarios

Taiwan's Defense Ministry said it had detected a total of 68 Chinese aircraft and 10 Chinese naval vessels around its territory in the past 24 hours.

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Taiwan surrounded by China: the scenarios
© Annabelle Chih / Stringer Getty Images Sport

Taiwan is surrounded by China, with planes and ships: a scenario that comes after months of preparations. Taiwan is an independent state but China claims it as its own territory. Over the last three years, tensions between the two countries have increased both due to frequent Chinese military exercises around the island and because Taiwan is supported by the United States, which has contributed to growing diplomatic tensions between the two powers.

Recently the United States sold Taiwan a military target search and tracking system to be mounted on F-16 military jets, capable of searching, identifying and tracking the movements of external targets through infrared rather than through radar, like traditional systems of anti-aircraft defense.

Taiwan's Defense Ministry said it had detected a total of 68 Chinese aircraft and 10 Chinese naval vessels around its territory in the past 24 hours.

Taiwan surrounded by China: the scenarios

The operation follows one just 24 hours after Taipei reported a count of 35 Chinese warplanes, all detected around the island on Wednesday, some of them flying to join the aircraft carrier Shandong, which is engaged in major maneuvers.

naval operations never made by Beijing in the Western Pacific. Taiwan's armed forces, the Ministry of Defense reported, responded with the deployment of air force planes and navy ships in order to follow Chinese activities, also mobilizing land-based missile systems to monitor the situation.

The aircraft carrier would be about 111 km southeast of the southernmost point of the island of Taiwan. China has not yet confirmed that it has conducted any military exercises in the area. Of the 68 confirmed aircraft in action around the island, 40 crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait or entered the military air identification zone on an unprecedented south-west or south-east trajectory with respect to Taiwan.

In recent days, Taiwan's Ministry of Defense, in its biennial report, had expressed fears regarding the Fujian aircraft carrier. It is the most modern in China and is equipped with a magnetic catapult take-off like the US ones, and should enter service by 2025 after the completion of sea trials.

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