Taiwan 24 Chinese military aircraft were spotted around the island

Taiwan: 24 Chinese military aircraft were spotted around the island within 24 hours

Taiwan counted 24 Chinese military aircraft around the island within 24 hours, the Taiwanese Defense Ministry said on Thursday.

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According to a statement from the ministry, 24 Chinese aircraft and five ships were spotted around the island in the 24 hours before 6 a.m. Thursday (10 p.m. GMT).

Of these, “11 aircraft crossed the median line – an unofficial border between China and Taiwan that China does not recognize – and entered the Southwest Air Defense Zone (Adiz) from the north,” the same source said.

It is Beijing's biggest show of force on the island since the presidential election in Taiwan.

On Saturday, voters in Taiwan elected Lai Ching-te of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as the archipelago's president, promising to protect the territory from “threats and intimidation” from Beijing.

China, which views the island of Taiwan as one of its provinces to be reunified by force if necessary, called Mr. Lai a dangerous separatist and threatened his supporters with harmful consequences.

Two days after that election, Nauru, a small Pacific nation of 12,500 people, announced on Monday that it was cutting diplomatic ties with Taiwan, which it now recognizes “as an inalienable part of Chinese territory.”

Taiwanese authorities report almost daily attacks by Chinese army aircraft carrying out major military exercises around the island over the past year.

In September, 103 aircraft were sent around Taiwan in 24 hours, which Taipei described as a “record.”