China deploys military vessels, aircraft near Taiwan
Formerly the primary governing body over mainland China, the Republic of China has been confined to Taiwan since losing the Chinese Civil War in 1949 to Mao Zedong's communist faction.
A group of Chinese warplanes and maritime vessels passed near Taiwan on Wednesday as part of a large-scale drill, with dozens of planes violating the island's airspace.
The flotilla included seven ships and 43 planes, 37 of which crossed into Taiwan's side of the strait, according to Republic of China's Ministry of National Defense. The aerial incursion prompted Taipei to deploy its own planes and naval forces in response.
"43 PLA [People's Liberation Army] aircraft and 7 PLAN [navy] vessels around Taiwan were detected by 6 a.m.(UTC+8) today. #ROCArmedForces have monitored the situation and tasked CAP aircraft, Navy vessels, and land-based missile systems to respond," the Taiwanese ministry wrote. "37 of the detected aircraft... had crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait and entered Taiwan’s SW and SE ADIZ."
Planes from the People's Republic of China have repeatedly violated the Republic of China's airspace in recent years. The incursions are part of a pattern of increasingly bellicose behavior by Beijing to intimidate the government administering the island, which it considers part of its territory.
Formerly the primary governing body over mainland China, the Republic of China has been confined to Taiwan since losing the Chinese Civil War in 1949 to Mao Zedong's communist faction. In principle, both governments agree on the existence of a single, unified China including the territories of both polities, though each lays claim to the mantle of that state's legitimate government.
The United States has generally served as the Republic of China's primary backer and deteriorating relations between Washington and Beijing in recent years have served to heighten fears of an outright Chinese invasion. Despite these tensions, the White House announced this week that President Joe Biden plans to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping later this month.
"We've been talking about it. The president said he’s looking forward to meeting with President Xi and so, not going to get into details about this meeting that's going to happen... next month," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday. "It's going to be in San Francisco; it's going to be a constructive meeting. The president's looking forward to it."
Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter.