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Taiwan says, China flew 56 jets to its air defense zone, the largest so far; China urges US to stop provocative behavior

China has sent 56 fighter planes towards Taiwan on Monday – the largest ever show of force in a single day.

In recent days, China started its military pressure against the self-governed island on Friday, which was China’s National Day, with the People’s Liberation Army sending 38 warplanes into the air defence zone claimed by Taiwan. According to Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence, Monday sortie included J-16 fighter jets and H-6 bombers, among other aircrafts. The island has been complaining for more than a year about China’s air force repeatedly flying nearby. In response, China accused Washington of provocative behavior, while warning against supporting Taiwanese independence.

The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), Taiwan’s top China policy-making body, accused Beijing of “seriously damaging the status quo of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait” and demanded Beijing to immediately stop its non-peaceful and irresponsible provocative actions. It said, China is the culprit for causing tensions between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait and Taiwan “will never compromise and yield” to threats. As per reports, China sent 39 aircraft on Saturday, previously the most in a single day since Taiwan began releasing reports on such flights in September 2020. It sent 16 fighter planes on Sunday also.

Responding to recent sorties by Chinese fighter jets, the US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said that the US is very concerned by China’s provocative military activity near Taiwan, which is destabilizing, risks miscalculations, and undermines regional peace and stability. The US urges China to cease its pressure and coercion against Taiwan. China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded on Monday, saying that the US selling weapons to Taiwan, as well as US ships navigating the Taiwan Strait, was “provocative action that harmed US-China relations.” Its spokesperson Hua Chunying said in a statement China will take all necessary measures to resolutely crush all attempts at “Taiwan independence”.

China claims democratically ruled Taiwan as its own territory and says it will bring the island under its control by force if necessary. It has refused to recognise the island’s government and has increasingly sought to diplomatically isolate the independence-leaning administration of President Tsai Ing-wen. After their split during a civil war in 1949, and Beijing opposes Taiwan’s involvement in international organisations. Taiwan announced on September 23 that it had applied join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, a week after China submitted its own application to join the trade pact.

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