China’s 68 planes, 13 warships cross median line, says Taiwan

Beijing, Aug 05: Taiwan’s defence ministry on Friday said 68 Chinese military aircraft and 13 navy ships crossed an unofficial buffer separating the two sides.

Chinas 68 planes, 13 warships cross median line, says Taiwan

It condemned China’s action to conduct missions in the sensitive Taiwan Strait as some of them have “deliberately” crossed the median line.

“(We) condemn the communist military for deliberately crossing the median line of the strait and harassing the sea and air around Taiwan,” the ministry said in its latest statement.

The median line, which is also known as the Davis line, separates Taiwan and China.

China has launched large-scale military drills around the self-ruled island of Taiwan after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan, defying multiple warnings from Beijing.

Meanwhile, China on Friday announced sanctions on US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her immediate family in retaliation to her high-profile visit to Taiwan this week and cancelled talks with Washington on defence, climate change and a range of other issues.

In another statement, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced countermeasures against the US, which included cancellation of the China-US Theatre Commanders Talk, China-US Defence Policy Coordination Talks (DPCT), and the China-US Military Maritime Consultative Agreement (MMCA) meetings.

The ministry also announced the suspension of the China-US cooperation on the repatriation of illegal immigrants, the China-US cooperation on legal assistance in criminal matters, China-US cooperation against transnational crimes, China-US counter-narcotics cooperation, and China-US talks on climate change.

Besides the diplomatic offensive against Pelosi, China has announced four-day military drills since Thursday in which the Chinese military fired ballistic missiles and flew fighter aircraft into the Taiwan Strait in a major show of strength.

Beijing also pressed its aircraft carrier group which included a nuclear submarine into the drills. “All the missiles hit the target accurately, testing the precision strike and area denial capabilities. The entire live ammunition launch training mission has been successfully completed, and the relevant sea and airspace control has been lifted,” the PLA statement said.

Taiwan has confirmed that the PLA has launched several Dongfeng tactical ballistic missiles capable of flying up to 500km into the northeast and southwest waters of the island on Thursday afternoon, a day after Pelosi left the island.

A statement from the island’s defence ministry said China fired multiple DF series missiles. It is the first time mainland missiles have flown over the island. “The defence ministry condemned the irrational actions to undermine regional peace,” the Taiwanese Defence Ministry statement said. Taiwan also cancelled airline flights Thursday as the Chinese navy fired artillery near the island.
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