OAN’s Geraldyn Berry
6:55 AM – Saturday, July 8, 2023
Amidst United States Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s visit to Beijing, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has escalated tensions by deploying 13 aircraft and 6 vessels near Taiwan’s airspace and waters over the past 24 hours, reportedly on Saturday.
The Taiwanese Defense Ministry promptly responded by monitoring the situation through air and sea surveillance, while also using land-based missile systems.
Specifically, four Chinese aircrafts, consisting of two SU-30 fighters, one BZK-005 reconnaissance plane, and one Y-8 anti-submarine warfare plane, breached Taiwan’s southwestern air defense identification zone, which is the median line in the Taiwan Strait, serving as an unofficial boundary between the two sides.
Despite China’s persistent efforts to intimidate and undermine Taiwan’s defense capabilities, Taiwan remains steadfast in its resolve. China, viewing Taiwan as its own territory and willing to use force if necessary, continues to conduct regular air and naval missions in a bid to exert pressure on the island.
The enduring support of the United States for Taiwan, a self-governing republic that separated from mainland China during the Civil War in 1949, continues to be a significant source of tension in the relationship with Beijing.
Prior to the arrival of Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Chinese President Xi Jinping had paid a visit to the People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater headquarters in Jiangsu province on Thursday, which directly faces Taiwan across the Taiwan Strait.
During his address to commanders at the headquarters, Xi had emphasized the need to advance theater command development and enhance preparedness for war. State media reports highlighted his call for improved planning of war strategies, intensified combat training, and the development of capabilities to ensure victory in military engagements.
As the world’s largest standing armed force, the PLA serves as the military arm of the Communist Party and is overseen by a committee headed by Xi.
Beijing vehemently opposes the United States’ military support for Taiwan and strongly criticized the forthcoming $440 million sale of cannon shells and other equipment, accusing the U.S. of escalating tensions in the region.
During her visit, it is reported that it is not anticipated that Yellen will have a meeting with President Xi.
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