Taiwan says 103 Chinese warplanes flew toward the island in a new daily high
The planes were detected between 6 a.m. on Sunday and 6 a.m. on Monday, the ministry said. As is customary, they turned back before reaching Taiwan.
China, which claims Taiwan as part of its territory, has conducted increasingly large military drills in the air and waters around Taiwan as tensions have grown between the two and with the United States. The U.S. is Taiwan’s main supplier of arms and opposes any attempt to change Taiwan’s status by force.
The ministry called the Chinese military action “harassment” that it warned could escalate in the current tense atmosphere. “We urge the Beijing authorities to bear responsibility and immediately stop such kind of destructive military activities,” it said in a statement.”
China last week sent a flotilla of ships including the aircraft carrier Shandong into waters near Taiwan. The drills came shortly after the U.S. and Canada sailed warships through the Taiwan Strait, the waters that separate the island from the mainland.
China also unveiled a plan for an integrated development demonstration zone with Taiwan in China‘s nearby Fujian province, trying to entice Taiwan while also warning it in what experts say is China‘s long-running carrot and stick approach.
The recent actions may be an attempt to sway Taiwan‘s presidential election in January. The ruling Democratic Progressive Party, which leans toward formal independence for the island, is anathema to the Chinese government. China favors opposition candidates who advocate working with the mainland.
The island is self-governing, though only a few foreign nations give it official diplomatic recognition. The U.S. among others has formal ties with China while maintaining a representative office in Taiwan.
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