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Today(Aug 14) Dozens China Warships and 68 Chinese Warplanes Flew Into The Taiwan Strait

Record-Breaking 68 Chinese Warplanes Just Flew Into The Taiwan Strait
After the Chinese military launched short-range ballistic missiles, or SRBMs, directly over Taiwan yesterday, starting its planned four-day series of live-fire exercises close to the island, tensions remain high in the Taiwan Strait, with a record-breaking number of Chinese aircraft, plus warships, entering the area today.

Military drills by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, or PLA, have continued around Taiwan for a second day, including further accounts of Chinese aircraft and warships crossing the median line in the Taiwan Strait, which serves as a de facto boundary between the island and the mainland. Crossing the median line is itself not an uncommon occurrence, as we have discussed in the past, but it’s the scale at which it is happening now that is most concerning.

While providing very few details, the PLA’s Eastern Theater Command has confirmed that air and sea combat drills are continuing to the north, southwest, and east of Taiwan, as the Chinese military works “to test the troops’ joint combat capabilities.”

PLA aircraft and ships continue to gather in the Taiwan Strait, and in unprecedented numbers, at least in comparison with recent times. According to Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense, today saw 68 PLA aircraft and 13 warships underway in the strait — previously, the biggest number of aircraft to enter the strait in a single day was 56, recorded in October last year.

In total, today’s PLA aircraft entering the strait comprised seven J-10, six J-11, 10 J-16, and 24 Su-30 fighter jets, as well as single examples of Y-8 electronic warfare and anti-submarine warfare aircraft.

Of this most recent total, the ministry says that 49 aircraft actually crossed over to the east side of the median line, while 19 others remained on the west side. Of course, the median line is an unofficial buffer and is not recognized by Beijing, which views Taiwan as a rogue province that is fully within its sovereign territory.

A different perspective on these latest operations was provided to Reuters by an anonymous source in Taiwan. They claimed that “around 10 Chinese navy ships crossed the median line and remained in the area on Friday morning, and about 20 Chinese military aircraft briefly crossed the median line.”