UPDATED: China’s military makes dozens of crossings of Taiwan median line

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TAIPEI, Aug 5 (Reuters) – About 10 Chinese navy ships and 20 military aircraft briefly crossed the Taiwan Strait median line on Friday morning, a Taiwan source briefed on the matter told Reuters.

Around 10 Chinese navy ships crossed the median line and remained in the area on Friday morning, and about 20 Chinese military aircraft briefly crossed the median line, said the person, who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter.

Earlier, Taiwan’s defence ministry said the island’s military has dispatched aircraft and ships and deployed land-based missile systems to monitor the situation there, as China conducts large-scale military drills in zones surrounding Taiwan.

Taiwan’s defence ministry said on Friday the island’s military has dispatched aircraft and ships and deployed land-based missile systems to monitor the situation, as China conducts large-scale military drills in zones surrounding Taiwan.

Multiple Chinese vessels and aircraft crossed the Taiwan Strait median line on Friday morning the defence ministry said, which described China’s military activities as highly provocative.

Taiwan’s military will prepare combat readiness but will not ask for a war, the defence ministry added.

China deployed scores of planes and fired live missiles near Taiwan on Thursday in its biggest drills in the Taiwan Strait, a day after U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a solidarity trip to the self-ruled island.

China’s military confirmed multiple firings of conventional missiles in waters off Taiwan as part of planned exercises in six zones set to run until noon on Sunday. It activated more than 100 planes, including fighter jets and bombers, and over 10 warships, state broadcaster CCTV said.

Taiwan’s defence ministry said it scrambled jets to warn away 22 Chinese fighter aircraft that crossed the Taiwan Strait median line into its air defence zone, and said troops fired flares late on Thursday to drive away four drones that flew above the area of its Kinmen islands, off the southeastern coast of China.

It said missiles fired by China flew high into the atmosphere and constituted no threat to it, responding to public concern about whether they passed over the main island of Taiwan.

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