The Taiwanese Ministry of Defense announced Monday that it had detected 103 Chinese warplanes flying around the island within 24 hours.
The ministry said in a statement, “103 People’s Liberation Army aircraft and nine People’s Liberation Army Navy ships were spotted around Taiwan between Sunday and Monday morning.”
Earlier, Chinese military spokesman Colonel Shi Yi confirmed that his country had placed its forces on “high alert” coinciding with the crossing of the Taiwan Strait by two American and Canadian military ships.
It is noteworthy that China has increased the pace of maneuvers and air sorties in recent months. It stresses that Taiwan is an integral part of its territory and pledges to regain control over it, by force if necessary.
For its part, Washington officially recognizes only Beijing, but Congress requires, under the Relations with Taipei Law, that the island be provided with weapons to defend itself.
The United States and Taiwan have enjoyed a strong and well-established informal relationship for more than 40 years, based on 3 laws and agreements adopted by the United States.
The Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), passed by Congress in 1979, represents the cornerstone of these relations, as it legalizes the arming of Taiwan to defend itself.
Earlier, Taiwanese media reported that the United States would provide Taiwan with 11 HIMARS missile launchers in 2024, in addition to 64 ATACMS missiles.
China imposed sanctions on the American companies Lockheed Martin and Northrop Gramman over their roles in arms sales to Taiwan. It is noteworthy that Beijing had denounced American plans to provide military aid to Taiwan and warned Washington against this step.