Taiwan’s defense ministry claimed Monday that China staged one of its biggest incursions into the island’s sea and airspace.
Some 71 Chinese air force planes entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone in recent days. Forty-three crossed the median line between the two countries in the South China Sea on Monday, according to the BBC. This is Beijing’s second large-scale incursion of 2022. The first came in August after Beijing was enraged that then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan, the first high-ranking U.S. official to do so in 25 years.
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Taiwan is in practice an independent state, despite China’s claims political ownership of the island. China has never said it is unwilling to use force to bring Taiwan back under the control of the Chinese Communist Party, the BBC noted.
Taiwan’s defense ministry is concerned of the possibility of a full-scale invasion and military conflict with China, issuing survival handbooks to citizens in April to prepare for such a scenario. (RELATED: Chinese Ambassador Says War ‘Likely’ With US If Taiwan Continues Toward Independence)
China stated that the recent incursion was a series of “strike drills” that occurred around the island on Sunday. Beijing claimed it was a response to Taiwanese and American provocation, the BBC continued. Similar drills have been held throughout the year.