Taiwan 33 Chinese military aircraft detected in 24 hours

Taiwan: 33 Chinese military aircraft detected in 24 hours

Taiwan counted 33 Chinese military aircraft and seven warships around the island in 24 hours, the highest number since the Jan. 13 presidential election, the Taiwan Defense Ministry said Saturday.

Two Chinese balloons were also spotted in the sky over the Taiwan Strait, according to a count stopped at 6:00 a.m. (10:00 p.m. GMT) on Saturday.

According to the ministry, 13 of the planes crossed the median line – an unofficial border between China and Taiwan that China does not recognize.

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

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

Taiwanese authorities report near-daily attacks by planes belonging to the Chinese military, which has been conducting major military exercises around the island over the past year.

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