China dispatched two large formations of fighter jets near the autonomous island of Taiwan over the weekend, presenting a major foreign policy challenge to new U.S. President Joe Biden just days after he began his administration, CNN reported.
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said 13 Chinese aircraft entered the southwestern part of the island’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) last Saturday, followed by 15 yesterday, Sunday, prompting Taipei to take defensive measures, including fighter jets to monitor Chinese flights.
According to the Taiwanese Ministry of Defense, Chinese military aircraft made more than 380 flights to the island’s air defense identification zone last year.
While the frequency of such drills has increased in recent years, the timing and composition of the latest formations, mostly fighter jets and bombers, seemed destined to send a message to the new administration in Washington.
Beijing claims full sovereignty over Taiwan, a democracy of almost 24 million people located off the southeast coast of mainland China, even though the two sides have been ruled separately for more than seven decades
Chinese President Xi Jinping has vowed that Beijing will never allow the island to become independent and has refused to rule out the use of force if necessary.