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Taiwan detects 103 Chinese warplanes near island in ‘recent high’

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China has stepped up military and diplomatic pressure on Taiwan in recent years as relations have soured.

Taiwan’s defence ministry on Monday sounded alarm bells about heightened military activity by China, saying it had detected 103 Chinese warplanes around the island in a 24-hour period.

“Between the morning of September 17th to 18th, the Ministry of National Defence had detected a total of 103 Chinese aircraft which was a recent high and has posed severe challenges to the security across the Taiwan Strait and in the region,” it said in a statement.

Beijing’s “continued military harassment can easily lead to a sharp spike in tension and worsen regional security,” the ministry said, as it called on China to “immediately stop such destructive unilateral actions.

This latest episode comes as part of a series of increasing military manoeuvres by Beijing near Taiwan. The Chinese government has consistently asserted its claim over Taiwan, which it considers a part of its territory, despite the island having its own government, military, and constitution.

The core of China’s claim on Taiwan is the One-China policy, which asserts that there is only one sovereign state called “China,” and both Taiwan and the mainland are part of that single entity. The PRC insists that Taiwan is a province of China that is temporarily separated and must eventually be reunified with the mainland, either through peaceful means or, if necessary, by force.

Beijing has sought to isolate Taiwan diplomatically by pressuring other countries not to officially recognize it as a separate country. Most nations in the world follow the One-China policy and do not formally recognize Taiwan as a sovereign state. However, many countries maintain unofficial relations with Taiwan and engage in trade, cultural, and economic exchanges.

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