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46 Chinese aircraft, 4 naval vessels detected near Taiwan

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Taiwan’s defence ministry detected 46 Chinese aircraft and 4 naval vessels in its neighbourhood on Sunday. The Taiwanese army responded to the activities with aircraft in controlled air patrol, naval vessels and land-based missile systems.

“46 PLA aircraft and 4 PLAN vessels around our surrounding region were detected today (Nov. 6, 2022) until 1700(GMT+8). #ROCArmedForces have monitored the situation and responded to these activities with aircraft in CAP, naval vessels, and land-based missile systems,” the Taiwanese defence ministry tweeted.

Twenty-one of these detected aircraft had flown on the east part of the median line of the Taiwan Strait and the Southwest Air defence identification zone (ADIZ).

The aircraft named by the Taiwanese defence ministry are JH-7, CH-4, SU-30*2, J-11*4, J-16*8, BZK-005, Y-8 ASW*2, KJ-500, WZ-7. This Chinese activity is not an isolated incident as the Taiwanese defence ministry almost daily report them as occurring.

On Saturday as well 9 People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft and 2 of its naval vessels around Taiwan’s surrounding region were detected. The Republic of China Armed Forces monitored the situation and responded to these activities.

Moreover, the US senior director of the foundation for the Defence of Democracies Centre on Cyber and Technology Innovation, Mark Montgomery, warned Taiwan and said that China would use cyberattacks rather than its military against Taipei, Taipei Times reported citing Voice of America’s Chinese-language Web site.

Voice of America’s Chinese language updated its website and quoted Montgomery as saying that Beijing might try to use cyber tools to destroy Taiwan’s satellite communications, according to Taipei Times.

He further said that the US assistance would involve researching critical infrastructure, finding vulnerabilities, and devising ways to protect against them.

Montgomery was one of the authors of a report titled The Attack on America’s Future: Cyber-Enabled Economic Warfare, which was published on Friday by the US Help Needed foundation.

According to Taipei Times, the report said that the US must work with allies to defend against cyberattacks by aggressive nations. “Cyberattacks on critical infrastructure could disrupt a US military mobilization in defence of Taiwan or interfere with other military operations by China’s adversaries,” the report said, citing information from James Mulvenon’s book The People’s Liberation Army in the Information Age.

China aims to control the global information and communications infrastructure, the report added.

“Altogether, China has implemented a coherent long-term strategy to control key nodes in the global economy and communications infrastructure — all at the expense of the United States and its allies,” the report said.

Meanwhile, US Undersecretary of Homeland Security for Strategy, Policy, and Plans, Robert Silvers said that global infrastructure may witness risks of using the Chinese telecommunications equipment.

At an event hosted by the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank on the topic of cybersecurity, Silvers said he and other US officials have urged other countries to avoid using Chinese telecommunications equipment as it could impact the information world, reported Taipei Times.

“It may be that the Chinese-controlled technology is the cheapest available, but it may also be that that’s not the final bill to arrive,” Silvers said.

“What happens five years, 10 years down the road when the government of the People’s Republic of China can pull the rug out from under your entire society?” he added The tension between China and Taiwan has intensified, ever since Tsai Ing-wen took over the presidency of the island nation in 2016.

Under her rule, Taiwan has gotten close to the US in developing submarine technology to strengthen its military, Geopolitica reported. And after that White House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan further intensified the tension.

China conducted large-scale military drills in August, it designated exercise areas near the Taiwanese ports of Taipei and Kaohsiung. Chinese forces fired 11 ballistic missiles during the drills, and there was a non-zero risk that one could have landed outside these zones.

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