Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense reported a record number of Chinese warplane incursions into its air defense identification zone (ADIZ).
Taiwan has urged Beijing to halt “irresponsible provocative actions” after 56 Chinese warplanes flew into its air defense zone on Monday, the largest reported incursion by China’s air force.
Taiwan has labeled Beijing the “chief culprit” of recent tensions. However, China has blamed the United States for the escalation of tensions with Taiwan. China regards democratic Taiwan as a separate province, whereas Taiwan regards itself as a sovereign state. For more than a year, the island has been complaining about China’s air force flying too close to it.
China has sent nearly 150 aircraft into Taiwan’s defense zone since Friday. According to a map provided by the Taiwanese government, the latest mission included 34 J-16 fighters and 12 nuclear-capable H-6 bombers, all of which flew in an area near the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands. Four more Chinese fighters were spotted late Monday, bringing the total for the day to 56 aircraft.
The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), Taiwan’s top China policy-making body, accused Beijing of “seriously undermining the status quo of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.”
“We demand the Beijing authorities immediately stop its non-peaceful and irresponsible provocative actions,” MAC spokesman Chiu Chui-cheng said in a statement.
“China is the culprit for causing tensions between the two sides of the (Taiwan) Strait and it has further threatened regional security and order,” he added, saying Taiwan “will never compromise and yield” to threats.
In response, China accused the US of being provocateurs and warned against supporting Taiwanese independence.
“Engaging in Taiwan independence is a dead end. China will take all steps needed and firmly smash any Taiwan independence plots,” the ministry said.
“China’s determination and will to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity is unwavering.”
It went on to say that the US should stop supporting and “inflating” Taiwan separatist forces.
Basics You Need To Know
China and Taiwan were divided during the 1940s civil war, but Beijing insists that the island will be reclaimed at some point, by force if necessary.
Taiwan has its own constitution, democratically elected leaders, and armed forces of approximately 300,000 active troops.
Taiwan is only recognized by a few countries. Instead, most people recognize the Chinese government in Beijing. The United States has no official relations with Taiwan, but the law requires it to provide the island with the means to defend itself.
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