IANS | 18 Sep, 2023
In 24-hour period, China’s military sent 103 warplanes towards
Taiwan, which the island’s defense ministry claimed on Monday was a new
daily record in recent times.
The planes were noticed between 6
a.m. on Sunday and 6 a.m. on Monday, the ministry said. As is customary,
they turned back before reaching Taiwan.
China, which asserts
Taiwan as part of its territory, has conducted increasingly large
military drills in the air and waters around Taiwan as tensions have
grown between the two and with the United States. The US, which is
Taiwan’s main supplier of arms, opposes any attempt to change Taiwan’s
status through force.
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said that 40 of
the planes crossed the symbolic halfway point between mainland China and
the island. It also reported nine naval vessels in the last 24 hours.
ministry called the Chinese military action “harassment” and warned
that it could escalate the current tense atmosphere. “We urge the
Beijing authorities to bear responsibility and immediately stop such
kind of destructive military activities,” it said in a statement.''
last week sent a flotilla of ships including the aircraft carrier
Shandong into waters near Taiwan. The drills came shortly after the US
and Canada sailed warships through the Taiwan Strait, the waters that
separate the island from the mainland.
China also revealed a plan
for an integrated development demonstration zone with Taiwan in China's
nearby Fujian province, trying to entice Taiwan while also warning it.
Experts say it is China's long-running carrot and stick approach.
recent actions by China may be an attempt to sway Taiwan's presidential
election slated to be held in January. The ruling Democratic
Progressive Party, which leans towards formal independence for the
island, is anathema to the Chinese government. China favours opposition
candidates who support working with the mainland.
Taiwan and China
split in 1949 when the communists took control of China during a civil
war. The losing Nationalists fled to Taiwan and set up their own
government in the island.
The island is self-governing, though
only a few foreign nations give it official diplomatic recognition. The
US among others has formal ties with China while it maintains a
representative office in Taiwan.