World: U.S. and Taiwan Coast Guards to Hold First Joint Drills At Sea: Report

China's Military Aircraft Flights Near Taiwan Hit Monthly Record High

  China's Military Aircraft Flights Near Taiwan Hit Monthly Record High China's warplanes flew 117 sorties off southwest Taiwan in September—the most since public records began—but not every flight is a message for Taipei.Taiwan's Defense Ministry has been publicizing PLA Air Force sorties into its air defense identification zone for 13 months. An ADIZ is a self-declared airspace not regulated under international law, and a part large of Taiwan's zone extends into the Chinese provinces of Fujian, Zhejiang and Jiangxi, even though it only concerns itself with activity that occurs on its side of the Taiwan Strait median line.

a small boat in a body of water with smoke coming out of it: Taiwan's second Anping-class patrol boat Chengkung, delivered to the country's Coast Guard Administration on June 25, 2021. © Taiwan Coast Guard Taiwan's second Anping-class patrol boat Chengkung, delivered to the country's Coast Guard Administration on June 25, 2021.

Taiwan denied taking part in drills with the United States Coast Guard on Tuesday but said it "does not rule out" possible cooperation, after vessel-tracking data showed a fleet of ships sailing into the Pacific in what reports said were rehearsals for an upcoming joint exercise.

The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), the de facto U.S. embassy in Taipei, confirmed on Wednesday the first meeting had taken place of the U.S.-Taiwan Coast Guard Working Group (CGWG)—a pact agreed back in March as a way to increase maritime cooperation between the two countries.

5 things to know about China's record surge of warplanes near Taiwan

  5 things to know about China's record surge of warplanes near Taiwan China's record number of incursions of warplanes into Taiwan's defense zone over the past four days plays to Beijing's military strengths while sending potent messages both at home and far beyond the self-governed island, Western analysts say. © Taiwan Ministry of Defense/AP The Taiwan Ministry of Defense released this undated file photo of a Chinese J-16 fighter jet when they announced that PLA aircrafts entered their air defense identification zone.

Taiwan's Foreign Ministry said the dialogue took place virtually, and that regular meetings would be held in the future.

Neither commented on reports about a first-ever joint exercise at sea, which the Liberty Times of Taipei said had been scheduled for the "near future."

It is unclear whether they would be linked to the ongoing INDOPACOM-led "Large Scale Global Exercise 21," which will last through to August 27.

Taiwan's heavy patrol ship Chiayi, flanked by coast guard vessels Taitung, Anping and a small patrol boat, conducted training drills 28 nautical miles off the eastern port of Hualien, the newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The fleet returned to the same location early on Wednesday, according to vessel-tracker MarineTraffic, which uses ship data transmitted to the automatic identification system (AIS).

Tensions flare as Chinese flights near Taiwan intensify

  Tensions flare as Chinese flights near Taiwan intensify TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — With record numbers of military flights near Taiwan over the last week, China has been showing a new intensity and military sophistication as it steps up its harassment of the island it claims as its own and asserts its territorial ambitions in the region. China's People's Liberation Army flew 56 planes in international airspace off the southwest coast of Taiwan on Monday, setting a new record and capping four days of sustained pressure involving 149 flights. The actions came as China, with growing diplomatic and military power, faces greater pushback from countries in the region and as Taiwan pleads for more global support and recognition.

Amid speculation that the Taiwanese ships had exercised with their U.S. counterparts on Tuesday, the island's Coast Guard Administration denied any American vessels were involved.

A statement on its website said the U.S.-Taiwan CGWG involves cooperation in areas such as search and rescue, as well as tackling illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

The administration said it "also does not rule out any possible form of interaction or cooperation in the future," but noted that the contents of the coast guard pact would not be disclosed without the agreement of both parties.

a group of people on a boat: Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (L) presides over a ceremony to launch the coast guard patrol ship Chiayi on June 2, 2021, in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Taiwan Presidential Office © Taiwan Presidential Office Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (L) presides over a ceremony to launch the coast guard patrol ship Chiayi on June 2, 2021, in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Taiwan Presidential Office a large ship in a body of water: Taiwan Coast Guard patrol vessel Chiayi at a launch ceremony on June 2, 2021, in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Taiwan Presidential Office © Taiwan Presidential Office Taiwan Coast Guard patrol vessel Chiayi at a launch ceremony on June 2, 2021, in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Taiwan Presidential Office

Citing a Taiwan Coast Guard source, the Liberty Times said Tuesday's exercises led by the 4,000-ton offshore patrol vessel Chiayi were a rehearsal for the upcoming drills with the U.S. Coast Guard.

EXPLAINER: How China flights near Taiwan enflame tensions

  EXPLAINER: How China flights near Taiwan enflame tensions BANGKOK (AP) — A recent spate of Chinese military flights off southwestern Taiwan has prompted alarm from the island, which Beijing claims as its own, and is increasing tensions in a region already on edge. The flights are one piece of a complex puzzle in Asia, where the United States and its allies have stepped up their naval maneuvers and Australia announced last month it is acquiring nuclear-powered submarines in a deal seen as a direct challenge to Beijing. Meanwhile, Japan has grown increasingly vocal about China becoming a security threat. © Provided by Associated Press In this photo released by the U.S.

The U.S.-Taiwan coast guard agreement will increase mutual cooperation in disaster relief and environmental protection. Observers say the pact will help counter so-called "gray-zone" threats posed by China's coast guard and its maritime militia.

On March 26, when the CGWG was established, the Chinese military flew 20 warplanes—including fighter jets and nuclear-capable bombers—into Taiwan's air defense identification zone. It was the largest intrusion of aircraft in a single day, before the record was broken again in June.

Defense analyst Su Tzu-yun said it is only natural for the Taiwanese government to be cautious about what it discloses, given the diplomatically sensitive nature of cooperation with the U.S.

The recent Taiwan Coast Guard drills were a form of "diplomatic art," he told Newsweek. The patrol ships could have turned off their AIS transceivers, but chose not to.

This allowed observers to spot and track the fleet, thereby tacitly confirming U.S.-Taiwan coast guard cooperation, said Su, who is with the Institute for National Defense and Security Research in Taipei.

Taiwan wants 'status quo', not China's path, president says

  Taiwan wants 'status quo', not China's path, president says TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan's president on Sunday called for the maintenance of the political status quo in a forthright speech which acknowledged rising pressure from China Tsai Ing-wen also firmly rejected Chinese military coercion, a stance driven home by a rare demonstration of Taiwan’s defense capabilities in a parade on its National Day. A choir of singers from Taiwan’s various indigenous tribes sang to open the ceremony in front of the Presidential Office Building in the center of Taipei that was built by the Japanese who ruled the island as a colony for 500 years until the end of World War II.

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Pentagon Backs Taiwan Against Chinese Military Threats .
Defense Department spokesperson John Kirby described recent Chinese military maneuvers near Taiwan as "destabilizing and only increase the risk of miscalculation."This month, Taiwan has detected 153 People's Liberation Army aircraft on training missions in the international airspace about 100 to 150 miles southwest of the island. Taipei's view of the flights as pointed political signals—and a real threat—was confirmed on Wednesday when a Chinese official said the military activities targeted the Taiwanese government and its foreign backers.

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