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Taiwan detects 62 Chinese warplanes in airspace amid military drills

IANS | May 25, 2024 11:35 AM

TAIPEI: Taiwan's Defence Ministry on Saturday said it had registered 62 Chinese warplanes operating around Taiwan within 24 hours, the highest number of Chinese daily sorties so far this year.

Among them, 47 Chinese military aircraft crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait, the ministry said.

Meanwhile, on Friday, 27 Chinese navy vessels operating around Taiwan were also detected, the ministry said in a statement.

Taiwan had monitored the situation and had tasked Combat air patrol aircraft, Navy vessels and land-based missile systems to respond to these activities, the ministry said.

The previous record number of daily sorties of Chinese warplanes for this year, 49, was reported just one day earlier.

China on Thursday launched a major military exercise around Taiwan, apparently to simulate a blockade around the island. Such drills came three days after the inauguration of Taiwan's new president, Lai Ching-te.

Tensions across the Taiwan Strait have risen since presidential and legislative elections were held in democratic Taiwan in January.

Taiwan has had an independent government since 1949, but China considers the self-ruled democracy part of its territory.

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