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China sends aircraft and vessels toward Taiwan days after US approves USD 500-million arms sale

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BEIJING, Aug 26 (AP): Taiwan’s defence ministry said Saturday that China sent dozens of aircraft and
vessels toward the island, just days after the United States approved a USD 500-million arms sale to
Taiwan.
The defence ministry said in a statement that 32 aircraft from the People’s Liberation Army and nine
vessels from the navy were detected in the 24 hours between 6 am Friday and 6 am Saturday.
Of these, 20 aircraft either crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait or breached Taiwan’s air
defense identification zone. In response, Taiwan tasked its own aircraft, vessels and missile systems
to respond to the activities, the defense military said.
China sees self-ruled Taiwan as a renegade province to be taken by force if necessary. In the past
year, Beijing has stepped up military drills around the island in reaction to Taiwans political
activities. The Chinese military launched drills around Taiwan last week as a “stern warning” after
Taiwan’s vice president stopped over in the US while on an official trip to Paraguay.
The State Department said Wednesday it had signed off on the sale of infrared search and track
systems for F-16 fighter jets and other related equipment to Taiwan worth half a billion dollars.
Chinese Defense Ministry spokesperson Zhang Xiaogang said Friday that China opposed the arms
sale, calling it a “gross interference” in China’s internal affairs and describing it as a “heinous act”
that violates its “One China” principle, as well as three Sino-US joint communiques. Zhang also said
that China urged the US to fulfil its commitment of not supporting the independence of Taiwan. (AP)

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