TAIPEI: Taiwan said on Wednesday (Aug 31) it would exercise its right to self defence and “counter-attack” if Chinese armed forces entered its territory, as Beijing increased military activities near the island.
Beijing, which claims Taiwan as its own against strong objections by the government in Taipei, has held military exercises around the island this month in reaction to a visit to Taipei by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Taiwanese defence officials said China’s “high intensity” military patrols near Taiwan continued and Beijing’s intention of making the Taiwan Strait separating the two sides its “inner sea” would become the main source of instability in the region.
“For aircraft and ships that entered our sea and air territory of 12 nautical miles, the national army will exercise right to self-defence and counter attack without exception,” Lin Wen-Huang, deputy chief of the general staff for operations and planning, told reporters at a news briefing.
Taiwan has complained of Chinese drones repeatedly flying close to its small groups of islands near China’s coast.
The military will exercise the same right to “counter-attack” Chinese drones that did not heed warnings to leave its territory after posing threats, Lin added.
Taiwan fired warning shots at a Chinese drone for the first time on Tuesday shortly after President Tsai Ing-wen ordered Taiwan’s military to take “strong countermeasures” against what she termed Chinese provocations.