China’s military sent over 150 warplanes toward Taiwan this week in an unprecedented military action that the island’s government swiftly condemned as “harassment.”
On Monday, mainland China’s military, known formally as the People’s Liberation Army, flew 103 warplanes near and over the island in a 24-hour period in what the island’s defense ministry called a recent new high. On Tuesday, an additional 55 PLA aircraft were detected near the island by Taiwan’s R.O.C. Armed Forces.
The Ministry of National Defense said 40 of the planes invaded Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone, the symbolic median line between mainland China and the island. They included more than 30 fighter jets as well as midair refueling tanker planes. Another 27 of the warplanes on Tuesday crossed the ADIZ.
“We urge the Beijing authorities to bear responsibility and immediately stop such kind of destructive military activities,” Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said in a statement, calling the Chinese military action “harassment” that could escalate in the current tense atmosphere.
Taiwan and China split during a civil war in 1949, which is when the Communists took control of mainland China. The losing Nationalists fled to Taiwan and were allowed to set up their own government on the island.
Only a few foreign nations give the island official diplomatic recognition.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.