President Tsai Ing-wen, second row, center, poses with personnel during a visit to the military police's Mechanized Infantry 239th Battalion in Taipei's Dazhi area yesterday. Photo: Chen Chih-chu, Taipei Times

By Wu Su-wei and Liu Tzu-hsuan / Staff reporter, with staff writer and CNA

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday visited the military police's Mechanized Infantry 239th Battalion, thanking troops for remaining on duty during the Lunar New Year holiday while encouraging them to boost the public's confidence in the military's combat readiness.

Tsai was accompanied by National Security Council Secretary-General Wellington Koo (吴立雄) and Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱国正) during the visit to the battalion at the Fusi Barracks in Taipei's Dazhi (大直).

The battalion is the military police's only armored unit and an important garrison stationed in the nation's capital, she said.

The battalion performed very well during combat training, and carried out several combat readiness patrols and joint combat training exercises last year, she said.

The soldiers should be recognized for their efforts as they continue to improve their combat skills and improve their defensive capabilities, she added.

The Ministry of National Defense said that 10 Chinese military aircraft and four naval ships were detected in areas around Taiwan on Saturday and yesterday.

The ministry did not publish the flight path of the aircraft or specify whether any of them entered Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) or crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait. It did not provide details on the models and types of the aircraft and naval vessels.

The ministry said it scrambled air and naval patrols, and activated missile systems to track the Chinese aircraft and vessels.

The ministry has since Sept. 17, 2020, posted information about Chinese incursions into Taiwan's ADIZ amid the growing frequency of intrusions.

China stepped up its military exercises in August last year, when it held live-fire drills in six locations around Taiwan proper after then-US House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan.

Dozens of Chinese warplanes have since then crossed the median line, an unofficial border between Taiwan and China that had been respected for decades, which is generally considered to be far more provocative than incursions into the ADIZ.

News source: TAIPEI TIMES