China’s military sent 71 aircraft and seven ships to Taiwan in a 24-hour show of force against the island, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said on Monday.
The move comes after China expressed anger over provisions involving Taiwan in the annual U.S. defense spending bill passed on Saturday.
China’s military harassment of self-governing Taiwan, which it claims as its own, has intensified in recent years, with the Communist Party’s People’s Liberation Army sending planes or ships to the island on an almost daily basis.
The aircraft China sent to Taiwan included 18 J-16 fighter jets, 11 J-1 fighter jets, 6 Su-30 fighter jets and drones.
Taiwan says it monitors China’s actions with land-based missile systems as well as its own naval vessels.
“This is a resolute response to the current escalated provocations by the US and Taiwan,” Shi Yi, a spokesman for the PLA’s Eastern Theater Command, said in a statement late Sunday. It announced that the PLA is holding joint combat patrols and joint strike drills in waters surrounding Taiwan.
In the Indo-Pacific region, legislation mandates increased security cooperation with Taiwan and calls for expanded cooperation with India on emerging defense technologies, readiness, and logistics.
The Chinese military has often responded to U.S. government support for Taiwan with large-scale military exercises.
In response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, it held a large-scale live-fire military exercise in August. Beijing sees foreign government visits to the island as de facto recognition of the island’s independence and a challenge to China’s claims to sovereignty.