China has sent 103 military aircraft towards Taiwan in a new daily high for activity that the island considers harassment
The ministry said that the planes were spotted between 6 a.m. Sunday and 6 a.m. Monday. As usual, they turned back before they reached Taiwan.
China, which claims Taiwan as part of its territory, has conducted increasingly large military exercises in the air and waters around Taiwan as tensions rise between the two countries and with the United States. The United States is Taiwan’s main arms supplier and opposes any attempt to change Taiwan’s status by force.
The ministry described China’s military action as “harassment” and warned that it may escalate in light of the current tense atmosphere. “We urge the Beijing authorities to take responsibility and immediately stop this type of destructive military activities,” she said in a statement.
Last week, China sent a fleet of ships, including the aircraft carrier Shandong, to waters near Taiwan. The exercises came shortly after the United States and Canada sailed warships through the Taiwan Strait, the waters that separate the island from the mainland.
China has also unveiled a plan to create an integrated development pilot zone with Taiwan in nearby China’s Fujian province, an attempt to entice Taiwan while also warning it in what experts say is China’s longstanding carrot-and-stick approach.
Taiwan and China split in 1949 when the Communists took control of China during a civil war. The losing Nationalists fled to Taiwan and formed their own government on the island.
The island is self-governing, although only a few foreign countries grant it official diplomatic recognition. The United States, among other countries, has official relations with China while maintaining a representative office in Taiwan.
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