In the past four days, China’s Air Force has flown 149 aircraft inside Taiwan’s air defense zone, including 56 on Monday – the largest incursion ever – which included three dozen fighter jets and a dozen bombers.
The first wave of Chinese jets arrived on Friday, the anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the communist victory over U.S.-supported nationalist forces in China’s decades long civil war that ended in 1949.
The flights have continued for three more days. Some days saw multiple waves of Chinese planes.
Today marks the first day Japan’s new prime minister officially takes office. But that’s not all.
Over the weekend, four aircraft carriers — two from the U.S., one from the U.K. and another from Japan – began large-scale war games in the Western Pacific. The British and Japanese warships have U.S. Marine Corps F-35 stealth fighter jets aboard in addition to dozens of helicopters.
USS Ronald Reagan and Carl Vinson are the two American aircraft carriers. Reagan recently steamed off the coast of Pakistan during the fall of Afghanistan. Vinson left San Diego in August carrying F-35Cs and Ospreys, the first U.S. carriers to do so.
This western armada has at least 17 warships from six different countries.
These multi-national military exercises are aimed at China, officials say.
State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said Sunday that the U.S. is urging Beijing "to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure and coercion against Taiwan."
"The United States is very concerned by the People’s Republic of China’s provocative military activity near Taiwan, which is destabilizing, risks miscalculations, and undermines regional peace and stability," he added.
Beijing appears to be flexing its muscles back with this large show of force near Taiwan, which China considers a breakaway province.
Over the summer, Chinese leader Xi Jinping pledged "reunification" with Taiwan and "smash" any attempt at formal independence.