In response to the "provocation" of Taipei and the United States

China displays in the skies over Taiwan with 71 military aircraft

A military ceremony in Taipei to promote some soldiers, in the presence of the President of Taiwan.


The Taiwan government said yesterday that 71 Chinese Air Force aircraft, including combat and drones, entered the Taiwanese air defense zone yesterday, in the largest Chinese incursion announced so far.

The Taiwanese Ministry of Defense said in a statement that 43 of those aircraft crossed the midline of the Taiwan Strait, which is an unofficial dividing area between the two sides, located within the defense zone, at a time when Beijing continues its military activities near the island that China considers part of its territory.

Taiwan's official Central News Agency said this was the Chinese air force's largest incursion into Taiwan's defense zone so far, although there was no sense of danger on the island, which has been under increasing pressure from China in the past few years.

Taiwan, which rejects Chinese claims of sovereignty, said the exercises showed Beijing's breach of regional peace and its attempt to intimidate the Taiwanese people.

A senior Taiwanese official familiar with the security situation in the region said that the Taiwanese government's assessments indicate that the Chinese military "provocations" came to express Beijing's anger at the new US defense authorization law that enhances military assistance to Taiwan.

The official, who requested anonymity, added that during the exercise, the Chinese air force sent warplanes from several locations across the country in simulated attacks on Taiwanese and US warships.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen's office said in a statement that Tsai will convene a high-level national security meeting on Tuesday morning to discuss ways to strengthen Taiwan's civil defense system, followed by a press conference on new civil defense measures.

The statement did not give further details, but the Ministry of Defense said it was considering extending compulsory military service for more than four months.

On the other hand, China, which considers Taiwan part of its territory, said that it had conducted "offensive exercises" in the sea and airspace around Taiwan, on Sunday, which were "a firm response to the growing complicity and provocations between the United States and the Taiwan authorities."

The rapprochement with Washington that began under former US President Donald Trump contributed to straining Sino-American relations, because the United States is officially committed to recognizing the communist government in Beijing as the sole legitimate representative of China.

On Saturday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry expressed its "strong opposition" to the adoption of a US legislative text on defense, the "National Defense Authorization Act", which specifically allows military aid and arms sales to Taiwan worth $10 billion.

The Chinese authorities prefer "peaceful reunification" with the island, but they have never given up using force to restore Taiwan, especially if it declares its independence.

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