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Taiwan detects 8 Chinese aircraft, 6 vessels near island over 24 hrs

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Taipei: The Taiwanese armed forces spotted 8 Chinese military aircraft and six vessels near the island over the past 24 hours, the Taiwanese Defense Ministry said on Saturday.

“8 PLA [People’s Liberation Army of China] aircraft and 6 PLAN [PLA Navy] vessels around Taiwan were detected by 06:00 (UTC+8) today [22:00 GMT on Friday]. 1 of the detected aircraft (Y-8 ASW) had entered Taiwan’s SW ADIZ [southwest air defense identification zone],” the defense ministry said in a statement on X.

The Taiwanese troops have been monitoring the situation and have ordered air, sea and land units to respond to China’s activities near the island, the statement read.

Taiwan is holding presidential and legislative elections on Saturday. The three candidates running for head of the island are Lai Ching-te of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) who is a pro-independence candidate, Hou Yu-ih of the main opposition Kuomintang party who supports gradual resumption of dialogue with mainland China, and Ko Wen-je of the Taiwan People’s Party who is also ready for contacts with Beijing. Taiwan’s leader is elected by a simple majority of votes for a four-year term.

Voters are also to elect 113 members of local parliament, Legislative Yuan, also by a simple majority of votes for four-year terms.

Taiwan has been governed independently from mainland China since 1949, but Beijing views the island as part of its sovereign territory. Taiwan’s outgoing DPP-led administration has been largely perceived as pro-independence, chiefly due to its frequent contacts with US officials and international activism, which prompted Beijing to ramp up military drills in the Taiwan Strait in recent years.

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