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Chinese military ships and aircraft ‘deliberately’ crossed median line

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Taiwan’s defense ministry said on Friday a total of 68 Chinese military aircraft and 13 navy ships were conducting missions in the sensitive Taiwan Strait and some of them have “deliberately” crossed an unofficial buffer separating the two sides.

The ministry condemned China in a statement, saying its armed forces have “seriously damaged” the status quo and “harassed” Taiwan’s water and air space.

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The median line is an unofficial but once largely adhered-to border that runs down the middle of the Taiwan Strait, which separates Taiwan and China.

China has been holding huge drills encircling Taiwan since Thursday to protest this week's visit to the island by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

It was previously rare for military jets and ships to cross the median line, although Chinese incursions have become more common after Beijing declared in 2020 that the unofficial border no longer existed.

Crossings of the line are sensitive because the Taiwan Strait is narrow, just 130 kilometres (81 miles) at its thinnest point, and incursions raise the risk of military accidents.

Read more: China halts high-level military dialogue with US, suspends other cooperation

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