10 Chinese planes crossed Taiwan Strait median line
Ten Chinese aircraft crossed the Taiwan Strait's median line, an unofficial barrier between China and Taiwan, yesterday, the Taiwanese defence ministry said.
China's air force has repeatedly flown across the line over the past week as part of war games staged in reaction to the visit to the Chinese-claimed island by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, which Beijing vehemently opposed.
China's threat of force is undiminished, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said on Thursday, even though Beijing's largest ever military drills around the island seemed to be scaling down.
Beijing said on Wednesday it would keep up patrols but had "completed various tasks" around Taiwan, signalling a possible end to the war games even while keeping up pressure.
Taiwan has also been conducting relatively small-scale, annual exercises, scheduled before the flare-up and aimed at preparing to repel an invasion.
"At present, the threat of Chinese military force has not decreased," Tsai told air force officers, according to a statement from her office.
Taiwan will not escalate conflict nor provoke disputes, her office quoted her as saying, adding: "We will firmly defend our sovereignty and national security, and adhere to the line of defence of democracy and freedom."
A source briefed on the matter told Reuters that the number of warships close to the Taiwan Strait's median line, an unofficial buffer, was "greatly reduced" from previous days.
Taiwan's Defence Ministry said in a statement it had on Thursday detected 21 Chinese military aircraft and six Chinese naval ships in and around the Taiwan Strait, of which 11 planes had crossed over the median line.
That was down from the 36 aircraft and 10 ships detected the previous day, when 17 aircraft crossed the median line.
Meanwhile, five Chinese state-owned firms including China Life Insurance 601628.SS and oil giant Sinopec 600028.SS said yesterday they would delist from the New York Stock Exchange, amid heightened diplomatic and economic tensions with the United States.
The companies, which also include Aluminium Corporation of China (Chalco) 601600.SS, PetroChina 601857.SS and Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Co 600688.SS, said in separate statements that they would apply for delistings of their American Depository Shares from later this month.
China's foreign ministry said yesterday it had imposed sanctions on Lithuanian Deputy Transport and Communications Minister Agne Vaiciukeviciute for visiting Taiwan, the latest development in a simmering diplomatic row with the European Union country.