China launched 103 warplanes toward Taiwan in a 24-hour period in what the island is labeling as harassment.
The planes were sent between 6 a.m. Sunday and 6 a.m. Monday, according to Taiwan’s Defense Ministry. They all turned back before reaching the island, but the ministry said this number of warplanes was a recent new high.
China, which maintains that the island is part of its territory, regularly sends warplanes toward Taiwan, but typically in smaller batches. China also has conducted military drills in the air and waters surrounding the island as tensions continue to increase between China and the U.S.
The U.S. supplies Taiwan with weapons and has been trying to revamp the island with increased military capabilities to deter the China from carrying out an invasion or blockade against the island. U.S. officials have warned that Beijing is readying its military to have the capability to move against the island by 2027.
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said 40 warplanes crossed the symbolic line between China and the island, including at least 30 fighter jets. The ministry also reported that there were nine naval vessels near Taiwan’s waters over this time period.
“We urge the Beijing authorities to bear responsibility and immediately stop such kind of destructive military activities,” the defense ministry said in a statement.
The Hill has reached out to the State Department for comment.
The Associated Press contributed.
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