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Taiwan puts forces on high alert as China begins second day of Exercise ‘Joint Sword-2024A'

An outdoor screen shows a news coverage of China's military drills around Taiwan, Beijing, on 23 May 2024. On 23 May China launched ‘Joint Sword-2024A' exercises, surrounding Taiwan with warplanes and navy ships and vowing ‘stern punishment' to separatist forces on the island. (Jade Gao/AFP via Getty Images)

Taiwan has mobilised its aerial, naval, and land-based military assets as China's joint drills around the island enters its second day.

These assets include an “emergency deployment” of a Tuo Chiang-class corvette dubbed in-country as the “carrier killer” and a Chin Chiang-class large patrol craft.

Taiwan's state-affiliated Military News Agency has identified these ships as the fourth Tuo Chiang-class corvette, ROCS Xu Chiang , and the second Chin Chiang-class patrol vessel, ROCS Ching Chiang .

On 23 May the Taiwan Ministry of National Defense (MND) said that just one People's Liberation Army (PLA) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) appeared in Taiwan's air-defence identification zone (ADIZ), with the aircraft flying over the Bashi Channel between 0727 and 1029 h local time. The UAV approached to within 45 miles of Cape Eluanbi on Taiwan's south coast before operating over the Philippine Sea.

A later MND bulletin on the night of 23 May revealed that the PLA had started to operate several combat aircraft around Taiwan. According to the MND, 49 PLA aircraft of all types, including Sukhoi Su-30 multirole fighter, Shenyang J-16 multirole fighter, and Shaanxi KJ-500 airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft, were detected by the Taiwanese radar and aircraft from 0720 h local time.

“Out of this, 35 aircraft crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait and entered the north, central, and southwest parts of Taiwan's ADIZ while conducting ‘Joint Sword-2024A',” the MND said.

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