China asserts power: 33 Chinese military aircraft spotted around Taiwan, largest since polls

Taiwan's defense ministry stated that Chinese military aircraft were detected around the self-ruled island over 30 times within 24 hours on Saturday, marking the largest show of force by China since crucial presidential elections.

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Courtesy: Reuters

Taiwan's defense ministry stated that Chinese military aircraft were detected around the self-ruled island over 30 times within 24 hours on Saturday, marking the largest show of force by China since crucial presidential elections.

China continues to maintain its claim over Taiwan as its territory and has never objected to the use of force for unification.

China warned Taiwan ahead of polls 

Ahead of Taiwan's January 13 presidential polls, Calling victor Lai Ching-te a "dangerous separatist Beijing cautioned voters that the current vice president would ignite "war and decline" if chosen as the leader.

Despite warnings, Lai's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won a third straight term, having long disputed China's territorial assertions on Taiwan.

Chinese military spotted around Taiwan 

Within 24 hours before Saturday morning, Taiwan's military tracked 33 Chinese aircraft and 7 naval vessels maneuvering around the island.

It highlighted that 13 aircraft even crossed the sensitive median line bisecting the Taiwan Strait waters.

Taking swift decisions Taiwan employed air patrols, naval ships, and coastal missile systems in reaction to the persisting Chinese activities.

Two Chinese surveillance balloons spotted

The defense ministry also mentioned spotting two Chinese surveillance balloons traversing the tense Taiwan Strait zone.

The muscle-flexing follows a Taipei visit by US legislators that irked Beijing. They met president-elect Lai and running mate Hsiao Bi-khim, both labeled "independence extremists."

Lai had addressed this issue earlier and called himself a "pragmatic worker of Taiwan independence". 

Allies reduce for self ruled Taiwan 

Just two days post the election, Pacific island nation Nauru switched diplomatic ties from Taipei to Beijing, leaving Taiwan with just 12 allies.

One ally Tuvalu's pro-Taipei prime minister lost his parliamentary seat, making the island vulnerable to more Chinese pressure after Taiwan's polls.

The harsh rhetorical and military warning comes as Beijing refuses to accept Taiwan's democratic mandate cementing the DPP's firm control.