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China deploys 45 warplanes, 10 warships near Taiwan

TOKYO, August 9 (KUNA) -- China deployed 45 warplanes and 10 warships into areas around Taiwan as of 5 p.m. (0900 GMT) Tuesday, with 16 of the 45 aircraft crossing the Taiwan Strait median line, the Taipei-based Central News Agency reported, citing the Defense Ministry.
In response, Taiwan scrambled a combat air patrol, sent radio warnings, and deployed defensive missile systems to expel Chinese military planes and vessels, the ministry said in a statement. Beijing has made similar deployments every day since Aug. 4, when it launched live-fire military drills in six maritime zones around Taiwan, according to the report.
These maneuvers came less than a day after US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi concluded a 19-hour visit to Taiwan on Aug. 3. While these deployments were originally scheduled to end on Sunday, the Chinese People's Liberation Army has said it will continue its joint exercises surrounding Taiwan without providing a timetable for their conclusion, according to Chinese state media.
Meanwhile, the ministry said it would stand firm in expelling all Chinese warships and warplanes found crossing the median line to ensure they do not enter Taiwan's territorial waters. Territorial waters as defined by the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea consist of a belt of coastal waters extending at most 12 nautical miles or roughly 22 km from the baseline of a coastal state, the report added. (end) mk.aa