66 Chinese aircraft detected hovering around Taiwan, as China deploys aircraft carrier in Philippine Sea

Jul 11, 2024

Taipei [Taiwan], July 11 : Taiwan's Ministry of National Defence (MND) on Thursday said that it had detected 66 Chinese military aircraft and vessels around the island, apparently en route to a Chinese military exercise in the Western Pacific.
The media outlet embedded a statement by Taiwan's Ministry of National Defence on its X platform.
"66 PLA aircraft and seven PLAN vessels operating around Taiwan were detected up until 6 am (2200 GMT Wednesday) today," the statement said.
Fifty-six of the aircraft crossed the sensitive median line bisecting the Taiwan Strait - a narrow 180-kilometre (110-mile) waterway separating the island from China, it said.
They were headed toward the Western Pacific to take part in a joint air and sea military exercise there alongside the Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong, Taiwan's defence ministry said.
The ministry added it had "monitored the situation and responded accordingly". The Taiwan defence ministry also released an illustration showing some of the aircraft came within 33 nautical miles (61 km) of Taiwan's southern tip.
On July 10, the ministry said that 36 Chinese military aircraft crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait and were headed toward the Western Pacific to take part in a joint air and sea military exercise there alongside the Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong.
Previously in May this year Beijing sent 62 military aircraft and 27 naval vessels around Taiwan, amidst war games Beijing launched following the inauguration of Taiwan President Lai Ching-te.
Taiwan's Defence Minister Wellington Koo was cited by Focus Taiwan as saying that "the MND had a 'full grasp' of the Shandong's movements."
Meanwhile, Philippines on Wednesday expressed concern over China's deployment of a "carrier strike group" in the Philippine Sea.
State news agency PNA stated that reports said the Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong, along with a guided missile destroyer and a frigate, were spotted some 323 miles off Miyako Island.
The Chinese aircraft carrier was observed conducting flight deck operations with its embarked jet fighters and helicopters, it reported.
Spokesperson of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Col Francel Margareth Padilla in a media statement stated, "We emphasize the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the region and urge all parties to adhere to international laws and norms, particularly the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)."
On July 9, Japan's Defence Ministry announced that the country's Air Self-Defence Force fighters were scrambled in response to a Chinese TB-001 unmanned reconnaissance and attack aircraft that entered Japan's air defence identification zone (ADIZ) over the East China Sea.
This is the sixth time since the start of this year that the ministry has announced movements made by Chinese unmanned military aircraft, the Japan News reported.