TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Approximately 10 Chinese naval ships and 20 military aircraft crossed Taiwan's median line on Friday (Aug. 5).
At 11 a.m. the Ministry of National Defense (MND) announced that multiple People's Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft and naval vessels had been detected taking part in exercises around the Taiwan Strait and crossed the median line. The ministry said that in response to the intrusions, it had employed "alert broadcast, aircraft in CAP, patrolling naval vessels, and land-based missile systems."
The MND said that regardless of whether the PLA's military exercises involve launching ballistic missiles or deliberately crossing the median line of the strait, they are all "highly provocative acts." It added the country's armed forces will adhere to the principle of "prepare for war, but do not seek it" and an attitude of "not escalating conflict or causing disputes."
Reuters cited a source familiar with the matter as saying about 10 People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) ships had crossed the median line and "remained in the area on Friday morning." The source added that approximately 20 PLAAF military aircraft "briefly crossed" the median line.
Since 1955, there has been a tacit agreement between China and Taiwan not to cross the median line, also known as the Davis Line. However, on Sept. 21, 2020, Beijing unilaterally denied the existence of the median line in the Taiwan Strait.
In the fall of 2020, People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) aircraft crossed the median line on a few occasions and entered Taiwan's ADIZ. Over the past two years, there have been other incidents in which PLA forces have crossed the median line, but it is still a relatively rare occurrence.
Patriotic graphic posted on social media by the MND on Friday. (MND image)