Taiwan’s defense ministry said it had detected 103 Chinese warplanes around the island in one day, describing the number as a recent high, and urged China to stop “destructive, unilateral action.”
“Between the morning of September 17th to 18th, the Ministry of National Defence had detected a total of 103 Chinese aircraft which was a recent high and has posed severe challenges to the security across the Taiwan Strait and in the region,” it said in a statement on Monday.
Beijing’s “continued military harassment can easily lead to a sharp spike in tension and worsen regional security,” the ministry said, as it called on China to “immediately stop such destructive unilateral actions.”
Of the total number of warplanes detected, 40 crossed the so-called median line of the Taiwan Strait that separates the self-ruled island from China and entered its southwest and southeast air defense identification zone (ADIZ), the statement said.
Nine Chinese naval vessels were also detected, it added.
Beijing claims self-ruled Taiwan as its territory to be seized one day, by force if necessary, and has intensified diplomatic and military pressure in recent years as relations have soured.
Taiwan’s defense ministry noted that July to September is traditionally the busiest season for Chinese military drills along the coast.
China is bolstering its air power facing Taiwan with a permanent deployment of new fighters and drones at expanded air bases, Taiwan’s defense ministry said in its biennial report this month.