China flies record 52 planes towards self-ruled Taiwan in show of force

China has flown 52 fighter planes towards Taiwan in the largest show of force on record.

It continues the three days of sustained military harassment against the self-ruled island.

The sortie included 34 J-16 fighter jets and 12 H-6 bombers, among other aircraft, according to Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence.

The Taiwanese air force scrambled jets and monitored the movement of the Chinese warplanes on its air defence system.


Starting last Friday, on China’s National Day, the People’s Liberation Army sent 38 warplanes into the area and 39 aircraft on Saturday, previously the most in a single day since Taiwan began releasing reports on the flights in September 2020.

China sent an additional 16 planes on Sunday.

The number of flights into Taiwan’s air defence identification zone had prompted a statement from US State Department spokesperson Ned Price over the weekend, who warned that China’s military activity near Taiwan risks miscalculation and undermines regional peace and stability.

“We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure and coercion against Taiwan,” the statement said.

China claims democratically ruled Taiwan as its own territory, to be brought under its control by force if necessary.

It refuses to recognise the island’s government and has increasingly sought to isolate the independence-leaning administration of President Tsai Ing-wen.

Taiwan and China split during a civil war in 1949, and Beijing opposes Taiwan’s involvement in international organisations.


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