TAIPEI: As many as 24 Chinese aircraft and six vessels were detected by the Taiwan Defence Ministry near its territory on Friday, two days after China halted its large-scale military drills near the self-ruled island. "Six PLAN vessels and 24 PLA aircraft around our surrounding region were detected today (August 12, 2022) until 1700(GMT+8). #ROCArmedForces have monitored the situation and responded to these activities with aircraft in CAP, naval vessels, and land-based missile systems," Taiwan Defence Ministry said in tweet.
After US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi paid a visit Taiwan against China's wishes, Beijing started holding large-scale military exercises while threatening to take over the self-ruled island. After more than a week-long training near Taiwan, China on Wednesday announced that it has concluded its military drills, simulating an attack on the island. PLA's Eastern Theater Command said it had successfully completed various missions during recent drills around Taiwan and effectively tested the troops' joint operation combat capacity, state media outlet Global Times reported.
The Chinese military said they will regularly organize combat readiness patrols in the Taiwan Strait. In response to the Chinese threat, Taiwan's Ministry of National Defence said it remains on high alert following an announcement by the PLA to halt the drills.
"While PLA Eastern Theater announced that they have finished their joint military operation and will conduct routine patrol, ROCArmedForces will adjust how we deploy our forces considering multiple factors including troop morale and threats, without letting our guard down," the ministry said in an earlier tweet. On Tuesday, Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said China used the military drills to influence the international community's freedom of navigation in the waters and airspace of the Taiwan Strait and to prepare for an invasion.
Wu said China's decision to carry out military exercises in areas surrounding Taiwan is a gross violation of Taiwan's rights under international law and gravely threatens regional peace and security. Justifying its large-scale military drills and airspace violations in the East and South China sea, China on Tuesday said that after Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, the country is now preparing itself for every possible scenario.
Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying said that Pelosi's Taiwan visit is a major provocation that upgraded US-Taiwan relations and a real threat to China's sovereignty and territorial integrity adding that China has to prepare itself for every possible scenario.