Taiwan detects 39 Chinese warplanes, carrier
Taiwan said yesterday it had detected 39 Chinese warplanes and an aircraft carrier near the island after a US destroyer and a Canadian frigate transited through the Taiwan Strait over the weekend.
Between Sunday and yesterday morning, 26 aircraft and 13 warships were operating around the island, while another 13 planes were detected since the early hours of yesterday, according to Taiwan's defence ministry.
China's Shandong carrier was also detected yesterday around 60 nautical miles southeast of Taiwan's Eluanbi, sailing eastward and entering the Western Pacific for training, the ministry added.
China claims self-ruled Taiwan as its territory and has vowed to take it one day -- by force if necessary.
In recent years, Beijing has ratcheted up military and political pressure on Taiwan, often conducting naval exercises to coincide with any diplomatic engagements with Taipei.
Taiwan said 22 of the 39 planes it had recently detected crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait.
"The military is closely monitoring the situation and has tasked aircraft, navy vessels, and land-based missile systems to respond," Taiwan's defence ministry said in a statement.