The Taiwanese Ministry of Defense said on Monday that it had detected 103 Chinese warplanes around the island within 24 hours, the highest number recorded recently.
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He added: “Between September 17 and 18 in the morning, the Ministry of Defense detected a total of 103 Chinese aircraft, which constitutes a record number in a recent (period) and poses serious security problems on both sides of the Taiwan Strait and the region.” The ministry said in a statement.
The ministry warned that “continued military harassment” by China “could easily lead to escalation of tensions and deterioration of security in the region,” and called on Beijing to “immediately stop these destructive unilateral measures.”
Of the number of military aircraft detected, 40 crossed the median line — an unofficial demarcation between China and Taiwan that the former does not recognize — and entered the Southern Air Defense Identification Zone (ADEZ) — west-southeast, according to the press release. . Nine Chinese warships were also spotted around the island.
The ADZ, which should not be confused with a country’s airspace, includes a much wider area in which any foreign aircraft is supposed to announce itself to local air authorities. The Adiz region of Taiwan overlaps with part of the Adiz region of China, and even includes part of the continent.
China has not yet commented on these maneuvers.
The Chinese government considers the autonomous island part of its territory and has pledged to one day reunite it, by force if necessary. Beijing has intensified its threats and political and economic pressure on Taiwan since President Tsai Ing-wen came to power in 2016, from a party calling for a formal declaration of the island’s independence.
Last April, Beijing conducted military maneuvers simulating the encirclement of the island, after a meeting between the Taiwanese president and US House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy in California.
Taiwan then discovered 71 fighter jets in 24 hours, matching the record number set in December 2022.
In August 2022, the Chinese army launched giant military maneuvers around Taiwan after the visit to Taipei by Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives in the US Congress at the time.