China sends 71 ​​warplanes, 7 ships in 24 hours to Taiwan

China’s military sent 71 planes and seven ships to Taiwan in a 24-hour violent demonstration against the self-governing island, Taiwan’s defense ministry said Monday after China expressed anger at Taiwanese provisions in an annual US defense spending law.

China’s military harassment of Taiwan, which it claims is its own territory, has escalated in recent years, and the Communist Party’s People’s Liberation Army has sent planes or ships to the island on an almost daily basis.

Between 6 a.m. and 6 a.m. Monday, 47 of the Chinese planes crossed the median strip of the Taiwan Strait, an unofficial boundary once tacitly accepted by both sides, according to Taiwan’s defense ministry.

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A Chinese PLA J-16 fighter jet flies at an undisclosed location in this undated photo released by Taiwan's Defense Ministry.  China's military sent 71 planes, including J16 fighter jets, and seven ships to Taiwan in a 24-hour show of force aimed at the island, Taiwan's defense ministry said on Monday, Jan. 11, 2022, after China expressed regret over related regulations expressed with Taiwan in an annual US defense spending law passed on Saturday.

A Chinese PLA J-16 fighter jet flies at an undisclosed location in this undated photo released by Taiwan’s Defense Ministry. China’s military sent 71 planes, including J16 fighter jets, and seven ships to Taiwan in a 24-hour show of force aimed at the island, Taiwan’s defense ministry said on Monday, Jan. 11, 2022, after China expressed regret over related regulations expressed with Taiwan in an annual US defense spending law passed on Saturday.
(Taiwan Ministry of Defense via AP)

Among the aircraft China sent to Taiwan were 18 J-16 fighter jets, 11 J-1 fighter jets, 6 Su-30 fighter jets and drones.

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Taiwan said it monitored Chinese movements through its land-based missile systems as well as on its own naval vessels.

Taiwan is holding military drills to demonstrate its ability to resist Chinese pressure to accept Beijing's political control of the island.

Taiwan is holding military drills to demonstrate its ability to resist Chinese pressure to accept Beijing’s political control of the island.
(AP Photo/Johnson Lai)

“This is a firm response to the current escalation and provocation between the US and Taiwan,” Shi Yi, spokesman for the PLA’s Eastern Theater Command, said in a statement Sunday night. It announced that the PLA is holding joint combat patrols and joint strike drills in the waters around Taiwan.

Shi was referring to the US defense spending law, which China describes as a strategic challenge. Regarding the Indo-Pacific region, the legislation authorizes increased security cooperation with Taiwan and requires expanded cooperation with India on new defense technologies, operational readiness and logistics.

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In Washington, a White House National Security Council official said China’s military activities near Taiwan are “destabilizing, risk miscalculations and undermine regional peace and stability.”

A member of the People's Liberation Army looks through binoculars during military exercises while the Taiwanese frigate Lan Yang on Friday, May 8, 2022.

A member of the People’s Liberation Army looks through binoculars during military exercises while the Taiwanese frigate Lan Yang on Friday, May 8, 2022.
(Lin Jian/Xinhua via AP)

The official, who was not allowed to be identified or comment on conditions of anonymity, said: “The United States has an enduring interest in peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. We will continue to support Taiwan to maintain sufficient self-defense capability, in line with our long-standing commitments and in line with our One China policy.”

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China’s military has often used large military drills as a demonstration of violence in response to US government actions in support of Taiwan.

In response to the visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosis to Taiwan in August, she conducted major military live fire drills. Beijing views foreign government visits to the island as a de facto recognition of the island as independent and a challenge to China’s claim to sovereignty.

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