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Continuing its harassment of Taiwan on Thursday, the Chinese military sent its largest show of force across the median line, which acts as the de facto maritime border between China and Taiwan. Included in the show of force were 3 warships and 39 aircraft.
The exercise started at 6 a.m., with 30 of the 39 aircraft crossing into Taiwan's airspace, according to the Taiwan Ministry of Defense.
Taiwan's Defense Ministry scrambled an unknown number of fighter jets and also tracked the PLA's activities and location with its missile defense systems. Included in the Chinese exercise were 21 fighter jets, 4 bombers, and a multitude o other aerial support aircraft.
While it is unclear what caused China to launch its largest show of force across the median line, one Chinese military analyst said that any moves or initiatives by the U.S. to establish military training programs with Taiwan, or full-scale military exercises, would be seen as a sign of Washington's "malicious attitude" toward China.
The U.S. has not made any such moves. However, Congress did recently pass the NDAA, which authorized up to $10 billion in Foreign Military Financing grants for Taiwan. Aid for Taiwan was also included in the 2023 omnibus bill that Congress passed this week which authorized up to $2 billion in funding for Taiwan to purchase weapons from the U.S.
Regardless of recent U.S. bills supporting Taiwan, there has been an increase in Chinese harassment of the island. Earlier this month, China sent 18 nuclear-capable bombers into Taiwanese airspace within a 24-hour period. The rising tensions between China and Taiwan have also driven Japan to spend $320 billion to build up its military defense and deterrence, which was announced earlier this week.
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