Two dozens Chinese fighter jets entered Taiwanese airspace on Thursday in a show of force amid rising tensions between China and the autonomous island.
China’s People’s Liberation Army flew 19 planes near Taiwan on Thursday morning and then sent five more in the afternoon, The Associated Press reported.
In response, Taiwan deployed air patrol forces and tracked the planes using its air defense systems.
In January, China ramped up its rhetoric toward Taiwan, with a defense ministry official warning that ” ‘Taiwan independence’ means war.” Since then, it has sent military aircraft toward Taiwan on a near-daily basis, according to the AP, but has stepped up those flights recently.
In June, the Group of Seven (G-7) industrialized countries issued a statement seeking to “underscore the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and encourage the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues.”
“We remain seriously concerned about the situation in the East and South China Seas and strongly oppose any unilateral attempts to change the status quo and increase tensions,” the G-7 added.
The U.S. maintains unofficial relations with Taiwan, which China claims is part of its territory.
Last month, the Biden administration approved its first arms sale to Taiwan, heightening tensions with Beijing.
“This proposed sale serves U.S. national, economic and security interests by supporting the recipient’s continuing efforts to modernize its armed forces and to maintain a credible defensive capability,” a notice from the State Department read. “The proposed sale will help improve the security of the recipient and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance, economic and progress in the region.”