Cross-strait tensions continue escalating as China enters Day 2 of its unprecedented military drills surrounding Taiwan. The Ministry of National Defense says Chinese military ships and planes crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait. Taiwan scrambled its own military jets in response, while its warships monitored the situation with their radars. In a rarely-seen announcement, the ministry even said that coastal missile deployments had been activated. Analysts say Taiwan wants to send China a signal that it is not a pushover.

with a payload. And not just on the west coast. Over at a Hualien base on the east coast, F-16V jets carrying bombs also scrambled and flew northward. In the South in Pingtung’s Hengchun Airport, Apache attack helicopters and drones remained on standby.

Kaohsiung is closest to the military exercises, being less than 20 kilometers away from a drill area. At the naval port in Kaohsiung’s Zuoying, vessels were readied for backup. Although large warships are moored, their radars have been turned on and they are ready for combat. On Day 2 of China’s drills near Taiwan, the atmosphere remains tense.

Voice of Sun Li-fang

Military spokesperson

As of noon, several groups of Chinese military aircraft and warships conducting exercises around the Taiwan Strait crossed the strait’s median line. Our military used various surveillance and reconnaissance mechanisms to closely monitor the enemy’s movements. Warnings were broadcast immediately and aerial reconnaissance units were deployed. Warships and coast based missile systems were at ready.

The Ministry of National Defense emphasized that early warning detection and intensive surveillance systems were on full alert in the sea and air. It also made a rarely-seen announcement that coastal deployments of missiles were also prepared for action.

The military has readied both aerial defense and anti-ship coastal missile systems: the Patriot, Sky Bow and Hsiung Feng. They have a fast mobility, meaning they have higher chances of surviving an attack and can be easily maneuvered to counter enemy ships. The military is not willing to take any risks, with Chinese units crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait. The Army and Navy are on high alert, not only to reassure the public, but also let China know that Taiwan is a force to be reckoned with.