The Ministry of National Defense yesterday criticized the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for holding a joint naval-air exercise 90 nautical miles (166km) off the coast of Taiwan, as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on the global community to squarely face up to the threat posed by China.
Both ministries held rare impromptu news conferences yesterday evening to denounce China’s action.
The defense ministry had earlier issued an English-language statement on Twitter calling on the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to exercise restraint and for the CCP to be a peacemaker and maintain regional stability.
Photo: Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times
It said it had detected multiple waves of PLA Air Force (PLAAF) aircraft crossing into Taiwan’s southwestern air defense identification zone yesterday morning, the second consecutive day that PLAAF aircraft entered the zone.
Between 7am and noon, SU-30s, J-10s and Y-8 jets, accompanied by PLA Navy (PLAN) vessels, conducted a joint naval-air exercise, it said.
More PLA units were involved, although it could not determine if they were the artillery corps, the marine corps, or other units, it said.
Maps shown to the media during the defense ministry’s 8pm press conference showed that PLA forces were seen off the coast of China’s Fujian and Guangdong provinces, while the PLAN was detected north of the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Islands, 東沙群島).
The Chinese exercise was closely monitored from start to finish, the defense ministry said.
Deputy Minister of National Defense Chang Che-ping (張哲平) said that the consecutive incursions into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone posed a severe threat to Taiwan’s air defenses and regional stability.
PLA fighter jets are operating in the vicinity of international flight paths and could pose a threat to international civilian flights, he said.
Beijing should show restraint, he said, adding that its actions only created more animosity to it among Taiwanese.
At the foreign ministry’s news conference later in the evening, spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) condemned China for provoking tensions and urged the international community to squarely face up to the threat posed by China.
“Today, the PLA has chosen to conduct exercises near Taiwan. Tomorrow, it may engage in similar threats near other countries,” Ou said, first in Mandarin and then English, a rare gesture to the international media.
“Taiwan does not seek confrontation, but neither will it back down,” she said.
Taiwanese can rest assured that the Republic of China military will staunchly defend national security, she said.
The foreign ministry has informed key friendly nations of China’s actions yesterday, she said, calling on peace-loving nations to recognize the serious threat that the Chinese government poses to the region and jointly tackle the situation.
Additional reporting by Lin Chia-nan and CNA
BUSY DAY: The same day the USS ‘Barry’ passed through the Strait, Taiwan was ending its Han Kuang military exercises, while China said it conducted an exercise near Taiwan A US Navy ship on Friday sailed through the Taiwan Strait, marking the ninth time a US military vessel has transited the Strait since US President Joe Biden took office in January. The USS Barry, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, conducted a “routine” transit through the Strait, the US Navy said in a statement, adding that the journey through international waters was conducted “in accordance with international law.” “The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the US’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the US Navy said. “The United States military flies, sails and operates anywhere international law allows.” The Ministry
CLOSED FOR DISINFECTION: Two of the three local cases were linked to a cluster infection at a kindergarten, while the other case works at a McDonald’s restaurant The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported three new local COVID-19 infections and 11 imported cases, but no deaths. The local cases are two men and a woman aged between 20 and 80 who reside in Taipei, New Taipei City and Taoyuan, the CECC said in a news release. Two of them are linked to a cluster infection at a kindergarten in New Taipei City’s Banciao District (板橋), said Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is the CECC’s spokesman. He said they are both associated with the mother of a kindergarten student, who was earlier confirmed to have
BIOLOGICAL AGENT: A containment exercise was held in southern Tainan, in response to a mock assault where troops were assumed to be attacked by bioweapons The live-fire component of this year’s annual Han Kuang military exercises, Taiwan’s major war games involving all military branches, began yesterday morning and is to run until Friday to test the armed forces’ capability to fend off a Chinese invasion. The 37th edition of the annual event officially began after the Ministry of National Defense’s Joint Operations Command Center, also known as the Hengshan Command Center, announced the initiation of the five-day live-fire drills. Yesterday’s drills were focused on testing the military’s preservation and maintenance of combat capabilities in the event of a full-scale Chinese invasion. As part of the drills, air force
WELCOME BACK: Foreign spouses or minor children of Taiwanese can now directly apply for a visa with representative offices overseas, the CECC said Regulations on applications for entry to the nation by foreign spouses or minor children of Taiwanese have been relaxed effective immediately, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported two new local and three imported cases of COVID-19. Deputy Minister of the Interior Chen Tsung-yen (陳宗彥), deputy head of the center, said the relaxation meant that such applications would be treated as general cases, instead of special ones that are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. “Considering the recent local COVID-19 situation and the needs of foreign spouses and children to visit their family in Taiwan, we are allowing Taiwan’s