TAIPEI (Taiwan) — China sent 71 aircraft and seven ships toward Taiwan in an unprecedented 24-hour force display. This was after China protested Taiwan-related provisions in the U.S. annual defense funding bill.
China’s military harassment against Taiwan, its self-ruled territory, has increased in recent years. The Communist Party’s People’s Liberation Army sent planes and ships to the island almost daily.
According to Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense, 47 Chinese planes crossed between 6 a.m. on Sunday and 6: a.m. on Monday the median of Taiwan Strait. This unofficial boundary was once tacitly recognized by both sides.
China sent six Su-30 fighters and drones to Taiwan in 18 J-16 fighter planes and 11 J-1 fighter jets.
Taiwan claimed it was monitoring the Chinese movements through its land-based missile system and on its navy vessels.
Shi Yi, the spokesperson for the PLA’s Eastern Theater Command said that “This is a strong response to the current US–Taiwan aggression and provocation.” It stated that the PLA was conducting joint combat patrols and joint strike drills in the waters surrounding Taiwan.
She was referring specifically to the U.S. defense expenditure bill. This bill calls China a strategic threat. The legislation regarding the Indo-Pacific region authorizes greater security cooperation with Taiwan and calls for expanded cooperation with India in the areas of emerging defense technologies, readiness, and logistics.
China’s military often uses large military exercises to show its support for U.S. actions in support of Taiwan. In August, it conducted large-scale live-fire military drills in response to Nancy Pelosi, the U.S. House Speaker’s visit to Taiwan. Beijing considers foreign governments visiting the island to be a de facto recognition that the island is independent and a threat to China’s sovereignty claim.