The nation’s military fully complies with international rules and guidelines when responding to Chinese military drills, the Ministry of National Defense said yesterday, vowing to continue defending Taiwan in accordance with international law.
China on Thursday launched four days of military drills around Taiwan proper in response to US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei.
The drills were expected to end on Sunday, but neither Beijing nor Taipei confirmed their conclusion, although the Ministry of Transportation and Communications said it had seen some evidence suggesting at least a partial drawdown.
Photo courtesy of the Ministry of National Defense
However, China yesterday said the drills would continue, saying “the eastern theater of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army [PLA] continued to carry out practical joint exercises and training in the sea and airspace around Taiwan island.”
The exercises, the PLA’s Eastern Command said, were “focusing on organizing joint anti-submarine and sea assault operations.”
Beijing also carried out live-fire drills yesterday in parts of the South China Sea and Yellow Sea.
The Taiwanese defense ministry on Sunday said it detected 66 aircraft and 14 warships conducting naval and air exercises.
Taiwan has responded by putting its military on alert and deploying ships, planes and other assets to monitor Chinese aircraft, ships and drones that are “simulating attacks on the island of Taiwan and our ships at sea,” as well as crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait.
Although not an internationally recognized delineation, the median line has been tacitly accepted by both sides since the 1950s, Shen Shih-wei (沈世偉), head of the ministry’s Judicial Department, told a news conference in Taipei yesterday.
Its existence is evident, but China’s creation of a restricted zone across the line challenges this nearly 70-year-old fact, he said.
The restricted zone constricts Taiwan’s training airspace, potentially affecting the normal operation of international air and waterways, Shen said.
This kind of targeted intimidation is contrary to Article 2, Section 4 of the UN Charter, which states: “All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations,” Shen said.
Asked how the military monitors Chinese actions, Lieutenant General Yan Yu-hsien (顏有賢), Deputy Chief of the General Staff for Intelligence, said it uses joint intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance methods.
For instance, when a Chinese aircraft or ship crosses the median line, the military — aside from broadcasting a warning — also communicates with warplanes and missile tracking systems to gain a thorough understanding of the situation, Yan said.
Warfare has changed dramatically in the Internet age, said Major General Chen Yu-lin (陳育琳), deputy director of the Political Warfare Bureau.
Disrupting the civilian Internet, cyberattacks would deepen the confrontation and potentially mean the difference between victory and defeat on the battlefield, she said.
China began cognitive warfare operations before the military drills, posting 272 messages from Monday last week to yesterday that were disseminated widely, ministry data showed.
The messages can be categorized into three types: creating a sense of unification by force, destroying trust in the government and disrupting morale, it said.
Navy Chief of Staff Vice Admiral Chiang Cheng-kuo (蔣正國) told reporters that China spread misinformation during the exercises.
It falsely claimed that its warships encroached on Taiwan’s territorial contiguous zone, but the navy confirmed that no PLA ships entered the nation’s territory, he said.
A country’s contiguous territorial zone extends for 24 nautical miles (44.4km) from its coast, while territorial waters extend 12 nautical miles. The military has not officially said whether PLA warships entered the nation’s contiguous zone.
Additional reporting by AP and AFP
MORE ARRIVALS ALLOWED: Taiwan yesterday increased its cap on arrivals to 60,000 from 50,000 ahead of a full border opening with a weekly cap of 150,000 on Oct. 13 Travelers arriving in Taiwan from Oct. 13 would no longer be required to quarantine on arrival and visitors of all nationalities would be allowed to enter, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) announced yesterday. However, the number of arrivals would be capped at 150,000 per week, he added. Travelers aged two or older would be given four rapid antigen COVID-19 test kits on arrival and be asked to monitor their health for seven days, Cabinet spokesman Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成) told a news conference. Under the new arrival protocol, travelers would have to take a test on the day of arrival or the day after, followed
SOVEREIGN NATION: The Chinese premier’s remarks about the CCP’s resolve to achieve unification sought to undermine the legitimacy of Taiwan, the MAC said Taiwan will never accept Beijing’s attempts to undermine its sovereignty, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said yesterday, after the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) at its National Day celebrations in Beijing vowed to achieve unification with Taiwan. The CCP’s statement was not conducive to peaceful cross-strait relations, the council said. The event, hosted by the Chinese State Council, featured Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (李克強), the other five CCP Politburo Standing Committee members and Vice President Wang Qishan (王岐山), as well as 500 guests from China and abroad. Taiwanese based in China also attended the ceremony, Xinhua news agency
The Kaohsiung District Court has ordered a man to pay a convenience store NT$600 (US$18.83) in compensation for using his own mug to refill a pot of tea eggs, ruling against the store manager’s NT$1 million claim. In May, during the peak of a domestic COVID-19 surge, a man surnamed Lee (李) added water from his mug to a pot of tea eggs after seeing it was nearly dry. A clerk stopped Lee, then discarded all 60 eggs in the pot, worth an estimated NT$600, after consulting with the manager, it said. The manager sued Lee, demanding NT$1 million for damage to the
Washington is evaluating a transfer of weapons systems requested by Taiwan, according to a copy of a report by the Ministry of National Defense (MND) that is to be submitted to lawmakers tomorrow. Asked whether the AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile would be among the weapons systems, the ministry refused to comment, but said that it would not rule out announcing the specifics later this year. The ministry’s domestically sourced high-priority military investments include submarines, next-generation light frigates, rescue ships, advanced trainer jets and infantry fighting vehicles, the report said. Planned deals include F-16A and F-16B jet performance upgrades, navigation and targeting