68 Chinese planes, 13 warships crossed median line, says Taiwan Defence Ministry

China has been holding massive exercises around Taiwan since Thursday to protest the visit of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

China has been holding massive exercises around Taiwan since Thursday to protest the visit of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The Taipei military said 68 Chinese fighter jets and 13 warships crossed the “median line” running through the Taiwan Strait during military exercises by Beijing forces on Aug. 5, 2022.

“(We) condemn the communist army for deliberately crossing the median line of the strait and harassing the sea and air around Taiwan,” the defense ministry said in its latest statement.

“As of 11 a.m., several groups of Chinese warplanes and warships conducted exercises around the Taiwan Strait and crossed the centerline of the strait,” the defense ministry said in a statement.

“This Chinese military exercise, whether it be launching ballistic missiles or deliberately crossing the centerline of the strait, is a very provocative act.”

The Median Line is an unofficial but once largely enforced border that runs through the middle of the Taiwan Strait, which separates Taiwan and China.

China has been holding massive exercises around Taiwan since Thursday to protest this week’s visit to the island by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Military planes and ships have previously been rare to cross the median line, although Chinese raids have become more common after Beijing declared in 2020 that the unofficial border no longer existed.

Line crossings are sensitive because the Taiwan Strait is narrow, only 130 kilometers (81 miles) at its thinnest point, and raids increase the risk of military accidents.

In recent years, Beijing has stepped up its raids against Taipei.

The vast majority are military aircraft flights to the southwest corner of Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).

The ADIZ is not the same as Taiwan’s territorial airspace, including a much larger area that overlaps with part of China’s own air defense identification zone and even part of the mainland.

But this week’s military exercises by China have seen a spike in the number of raids in the median line.

Of the 49 raids Taiwan reported on Wednesday and Thursday, 44 were Chinese planes crossing the median line.

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