In a show of force to the Biden administration, China sent a record number of aircraft to menace the self-governed island of Taiwan, The New York Times reported.
The Times said fighter jets, maritime patrol planes, and drones that buzzed the airspace near the island nation in the hours leading to Monday morning exhibited "Beijing's appetite for confrontation with the United States over Taiwan."
The increased military activity came days after President Joe Biden's signature on the National Defense Authorization Act, which included measures to increase American support for Taiwan.
According to CNN, Taiwanese officials spotted 71 Chinese aircraft around the island during the event, resulting in the prompting of its patrol aircraft, land-based missile systems, and navy vessels to stand by the ready.
"What the Chinese Communist Party has been doing has once again highlighted its mentality of using force to resolve differences and undermine regional peace and stability," Taiwan's Defense Ministry said on Sunday.
Additionally, 47 of 71 aircraft crossed the Taiwan Strait that separates the two nations.
Senior Col. Shi Yi, a spokesperson for the Chinese military's Eastern Theater Command, said that the readiness patrols and first-strike drills were conducted as a "firm response to the current U.S.-Taiwan escalation and provocation ... the theater troops will take all necessary measures to resolutely defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity."
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