TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense published a report on Tuesday which shows that Chinese aircraft and navy ships have moved close to Taiwan during drills for nearly 30 times since August 2016.
The biennial national defense report presents the current situation of the country’s defensive capability and regional strategic overview, according to the ministry.
The report indicates that from August 2016 to mid-December 2017, the number of incursions of Chinese aircraft and navy ships nearing Taiwan had been 23 and four times respectively.
The routes of the so-called Chinese military drills usually include the Bashi Channel between Taiwan and the Philippines, the Miyako Strait (northeast from Taiwan), the Taiwan Strait, and so on.
The ministry said releasing information about the routes of the Chinese aircraft and navy ships serves to make Taiwanese people aware of the threat from China.
However, the ministry earlier announced on December 20 that it would no longer issue notifications of incursions of the Chinese military nearing Taiwan.
Chen Chung-chi (陳中吉), spokesperson for the ministry, explained to the media on Tuesday that the decision had been made to avoid the public from being influenced by China’s maneuvers.
Chen added that the ministry would still make relative announcements when occasions call for them.
The national defense report recognizes China as the biggest threat to Taiwan’s security. Additionally, since Beijing has been allocating plenty of resources to develop military technology and improve combat capability, the Chinese threat continues to grow.
However, the report indicates that the Taiwanese military has coordinated defense plans that will keep enemies’ attacks offshore and deter the enemies from advancing on the island.
Under the country’s National Defense Act, the Ministry of National Defense has to publish a national defense report every other year. The report released on Tuesday is the 14th issue and the first one since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took office in May 2016.