China's military drills continued on Sunday

08 August, 2022

Courtesy of ICRT


The Ministry of National Defense (MND) says China deployed 66 warplanes and 14 warships into areas around Taiwan on Sunday. Twenty-two of the aircraft crossed the Taiwan Strait median line. MND officials say the air force responded to the incursion by scrambling planes to monitor the Chinese aircraft, issuing radio warnings, and mobilizing air defence assets until they left the area.


The deployment of aircraft and warships follows a playbook similar to that followed by Beijing every day since 4 August, when it launched live-fire military drills in six maritime zones around Taiwan a day after Nancy Pelosi concluded her 19-hour visit. The MND has described the military exercises being conducted by China as "highly provocative".


Sunday was supposed to be the last day of those drills. However, Chinese state media is reporting that Beijing will continue its joint exercises surrounding Taiwan. The MND has not commented on the possibility that the drills could continue.


Meanwhile the military is disputing Chinese state media reports that warships entered Taiwan's territorial waters, describing those claims as a part of Beijing's disinformation campaign. The navy says a widely circulated photograph and related Chinese media reports that claim the A Type destroyer "Nanjing" sailed within 11.7 kilometers of Ho-Ping Power Plant in eastern Hualien County were untrue.

The navy says it has been and continues to closely monitor all Chinese warships and none have entered Taiwan's territorial waters. The statement comes after the MND issued a press release questioning the appearance of a Chinese warship in Taiwan's territorial waters. The press release came with photographs showing F-16V jets taking off from Hualien Air Base, each loaded with Harpoon and Sidewinder missiles and additional fuel tanks.


In related news, The Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) says China's live-fire military exercises in waters and airspace around Taiwan have forced numerous passenger flights to take alternative routes. The number of flights passing through the Taipei Flight Information Region to non-Taiwan destinations has shrunk since China's drills began last week. Those flights declined to 150 on Thursday to 40 on Friday and 60 on Saturday.


That's compared with 300-plus flights daily prior to the Chinese live-fire drills. The Civil Aeronautics Administration says all of the affected flights have been taking alternative routes, passing either through the Fukuoka or Manila Flight Information Regions.


However, the administration says there were no major changes in air traffic to and from Taiwan airports and the number of inbound and outbound flights remained steady at around 150 in each direction over the past few days.

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