China sends warships and fighter jets near Taiwan during US Beijing visit

The UK does not recognise Taiwan's government and all diplomatic relations between the two countries are done on an unofficial basis.

China’s People’s Liberation Army has sent 13 aircraft and six vessels into airspace and waters around Taiwan.

Taiwan’s Defence Ministry said it is monitoring the situation, which coincides with US treasury secretary Janet Yellen’s visit to Beijing, with land-based missile systems prepared to respond.

It said four Chinese aircraft — two SU-30 fighters, one BZK-005 reconnaissance plane and one Y-8 anti-submarine warfare plane — crossed the median line in the Taiwan Strait which serves as a de-facto border between the sides and had entered Taiwan’s southwestern air defence identification zone.

China claims Taiwan as its own territory to be annexed by force if necessary and sends air and naval missions on virtually a daily basis.

US support for the self-governing island republic which split from mainland China amid civil war in 1949 remains a major irritant in relations with Beijing.

Shortly before Yellen’s arrival, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the headquarters of the People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theatre. Its area of operations directly faces the island across the Taiwan Strait.

Addressing commanders at the Jiangsu province headquarters on Thursday, Xi “stressed efforts to … break new ground for theatre command development and war preparedness,” state media reported.

He called for “enhancing the planning of war and combat… and stepping up training under real combat conditions to raise the forces’ capabilities to fight and win,” the reports said.

Yellen is not expected to meet with Xi during her visit.

Press Association


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