Taiwan’s defence ministry on Monday said that the Chinese Army sent 71 planes and seven ships into its region in the last 24 hours as a display of force and to express its anger against Taiwan-related provisions in a US annual defence spending Bill passed last week, reported the Associated Press.
China claims Taiwan as its territory and has threatened to annex the island-nation by force. Beijing strongly objects to any official interactions between Taipei and foreign governments as it sees such dialogue as an acknowledgement of Taiwan’s sovereignty.
China sent 47 aircraft across the median line of the Taiwan Strait between 6 am on Sunday to 6 am Monday, AP reported, citing Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence. It added that a total of 71 Chinese aircraft were spotted around the island, reported CNN. Taiwan said that it responded by mobilising combat air patrol aircraft, navy vessels, and land-based missile systems.
On Friday, US President Joe Biden had signed the National Defense Authorization Act into law. The new law establishes a specific defence modernisation programme for Taiwan to deter aggression by China, reported CNN.
On Saturday, China said that the new law interferes with the country’s internal affairs and disregards the facts.
“This is a serious political provocation against China,” the Chinese ministry of foreign affairs said in a statement. “This Act also contains a large number of negative provisions on Taiwan which seriously violate the one-China principle and the stipulations in the three China-US Joint Communiqués.”
The US has historically maintained a diplomatic stance over China-Taiwan ties. On one hand, it acknowledges that there is only one Chinese government under the One China policy. On the other hand, the US also maintains close relations with Taiwan and provides it with arms under the Taiwan Relations Act.