By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
TAPEI/BEIJING (Worthy News) – The government of democratically-ruled Taiwan weighed its options Friday after Communist-run China’s military surrounded the island in a threatening drill.
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry detected 68 Chinese warplanes and 10 navy vessels around its shores in 24 hours.
In total, Tapei reportedly tracked at least 143 warplanes and 56 warships entering Taiwan’s air defense zone in four days as part of Beijing’s “island encirclement patrol.”
Some sources said several of those planes and warships headed to an unspecified area of the Western Pacific to “conduct joint sea and air training” with China’s Shandong aircraft carrier.
Military experts noted intensifying pressure from mainland China, which claims Taiwan as part of its territory, despite U.S. warnings that it could lead to a broader international armed conflict.
Island authorities regularly report actions by Chinese forces, but this time, the number of planes was relatively high compared with previous events, several sources confirmed.
In response, Taiwanese authorities ordered combat air patrol aircraft, naval vessels, and land-based missile systems to respond to these activities, the defense ministry said.
Taiwan accused Beijing of seeking to stir regional tensions to pressure the territory.
Taiwan has an independent government since 1949, but China regards the democratic island as part of its territory and has not ruled out taking it back by force.
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