Taiwan, 29 February, 2023: Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence reported 19 Chinese military aircraft and seven naval vessels detected within its borders in the last 24 hours. Of the 19 aircraft, 12 crossed the Taiwan Strait median line, prompting Taiwan to deploy air and naval assets along with air defense missile systems. This incident follows a pattern, with Taiwan observing 253 instances of Chinese military aircraft and 150 naval ships in February alone. China’s intensified use of gray zone tactics, described as efforts beyond deterrence without direct force, raises concerns about its military ambitions. Admiral Samuel Paparo, the US nominee for US Indo-Pacific Command, warned of China’s potential to use military exercises to mask a Taiwan invasion, emphasizing the need for technological collaboration to strengthen defenses. Paparo highlighted the People’s Liberation Army’s significant advancements in force levels and joint capabilities, indicating a potential for a disguised military operation. He also pointed out challenges in strategic warning erosion, hindering the US and its allies’ ability to detect signs of a Chinese attack and be prepared to defend Taiwan if necessary.