China sends 71 warplanes toward Taiwan after the U.S. signs defense bill offering protection

China's army sent fleets of jet fighters and other military aircraft into Taiwan's air defense zone on Sunday as part of a military drill Beijing says was a response to "provocation" from the U.S. and Taiwan, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense reported that a total of 71 Chinese airplanes were detected flying in the airspace surrounding Taiwan, with 47 of them crossing the maritime border of the Taiwan Strait at about 6 a.m., per CNN. The ministry also revealed that it detected seven Chinese naval vessels near Taiwan on Sunday.

See more

On Monday, China's army released footage of numerous jet fighters taking off and naval officers carrying out their duties on the Chinese social-media platform Weibo. The army said the drills were a "resolute response to the current US-Taiwan escalation and provocation," without elaborating on said provocation, ABC News reports.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Officials from Washington and Taipei have criticized China's recent aggressive military maneuvers. The White House's National Security Council called the drills provocative and said the action was "destabilizing, risks miscalculations, and undermines regional peace and stability," per the Journal.

President Biden previously stated the U.S. would protect Taiwan if China moved forward with invading the democratically governed island. China's Communist Party has long expressed plans to reunify the island with the Chinese mainland since it views Taiwan as part of its territory. On Dec. 23, Biden signed the National Defense Authorization Act for 2023, which included authorization of up to $10 billion over five years to finance weaponry and military equipment sales to Taiwan. The bill also featured provisions to provide training and other assistance to help the island defend itself in the event of an invasion by China.

To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us