Within 24 hours, Taiwan reported the overflight of over 100 Chinese military aircraft near its island borders. As of 6 a.m. (local time) on Monday, the Taiwanese Defense Ministry recorded 103 Chinese People’s Liberation Army aircraft and 9 warships. While such flight activities are almost commonplace, this time the number was noticeably high.
The Taiwan Defense Ministry emphasized: “We call on the authorities in Beijing to take responsibility and immediately stop such unilateral, destructive actions.” Of these machines, 40 crossed the symbolic median line of the Taiwan Strait, the waterway that separates the Republic of Taiwan from the People’s Republic China separates. In doing so, they invaded Taiwan’s airspace in the southeast and southwest.
Beijing’s sensitive reaction: sanctions after US arms sale to Taiwan
China, which is under the leadership of the Communist Party, considers Taiwan to be part of its territory. Therefore, Beijing is sensitive to gestures of international support for Taiwan, especially from high-level delegations from other countries. In response to the arms sale to Taiwan, China recently imposed sanctions on two US defense contractors, according to a Chinese Foreign Ministry report.
Over the last weekend, delegates from China and the US held discussions in several sessions in Malta. According to Chinese sources, Foreign Minister Wang Yi made it clear to US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan that the Taiwan issue represents a “red line” in relations between the two countries. According to a statement from the White House, both countries are planning “high-level” talks in the next few months.
Taiwan’s autonomy and China’s military presence in the Taiwan Strait
Since 1949, democratically ruled Taiwan has had an autonomous government. Beijing had previously threatened military intervention. Current observations suggest that China is conducting military exercises in the Western Pacific, in the Taiwan region. The Chinese Foreign Ministry did not comment on these suspicions, but stressed the need to avoid actions that could endanger peace in the Taiwan Strait.