On Friday, Taiwan’s defense ministry said 24 Chinese aircraft, including bombers and fighter jets, along with five Chinese vessels were detected near Taiwan, The Epoch Times reported.
The incursion occurred just one day after the US announced the approval of two potential arms sales to Taiwan of up to $440 million.
The Defense Ministry said in a statement that the Chinese planes and vessels began conducting a “joint combat readiness and police patrol” around 8:00 am on Friday. Eleven of the 24 warplanes crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait, the unofficial boundary between China and Taiwan.
Friday’s median line incursion prompted the Taiwan military to deploy ships, aircraft, and shore-based missile systems, the Defense Ministry said.
Last Thursday, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced that it approved two deals for arms sales requested by Taiwan.
The first deal, estimated at $332.2 million, includes 30 mm rounds, including multi-purpose rounds, high explosive incendiary rounds, and training rounds, as well as related equipment.
A second $108 million deal is a blanket order to support the purchase of repair and spare parts for weapons, vehicles, and other equipment.
According to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the proposed deals “will not alter” the “military balance in the region.” Instead, they will “contribute” to Taiwan’s goal of “maintaining its military capability.”
In the last three years, Tawain has reported nearly daily missions by the Chinese military, and over the last 11 months, the Chinese military has regularly crossed the median line.
On Tuesday, July 4, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry reported that eight Chinese fighter jets once again crossed the median line during a “joint combat readiness patrol” with four Chinese military vessels, Reuters reported.
The Defense Ministry said in a statement that such “provocative behavior” is not in the interests of any parties in the region.