China Sends Record 103 Warplanes Towards Taiwan, Escalating Tensions
China has sent a record number of 103 warplanes towards Taiwan in a 24-hour period, according to Taiwan’s defense ministry. The warplanes were detected between 6 a.m. on Sunday and 6 a.m. on Monday, marking a recent new high in military activity. While Chinese warplanes regularly fly towards Taiwan, they typically do so in smaller numbers. This recent surge in military activity comes as China has been conducting large-scale military drills in the air and waters around Taiwan, escalating tensions between the two countries.
Taiwan relies on the United States as its main arms supplier, and the U.S. opposes any attempt to change Taiwan’s status by force. China, on the other hand, prefers that Taiwan comes under its control voluntarily and has recently unveiled plans to entice Taiwanese residents. The recent increase in military activity may be an attempt to influence Taiwan’s upcoming presidential election in January, as the governing Democratic Progressive Party, which leans towards independence for Taiwan, is opposed by the Chinese government.
In this recent surge, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry reported that 40 of the Chinese warplanes crossed the symbolic median line between mainland China and Taiwan. The ministry referred to China’s actions as “harassment” and warned that it could escalate in the current tense atmosphere. Taiwan has called on China to immediately stop such destructive military activities.
However, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning denied the existence of a “median line” and asserted that Taiwan is part of Chinese territory. China has also recently sent a flotilla of ships, including its aircraft carrier Shandong, into waters near Taiwan. These drills coincided with the passage of U.S. and Canadian warships through the Taiwan Strait, further increasing tensions in the region.
Taiwan and China have been separated since 1949 when the Nationalists fled to Taiwan after losing to the Communists in a civil war. Only a few countries officially recognize Taiwan, while others have formal ties with China but maintain representative offices in Taiwan. The situation remains tense, as both sides continue to assert their claims and engage in military activities.
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