Xi Jinping's Army Blames US 'Collusion' For 'Strike Drill' Near Taiwan, Sends 71 Warplanes, 7 Ships In A Day

Xi Jinping‘s army sent 71 warplanes and seven ships past the median line of the Taiwan Strait in the last 24 hours, in its largest incursion into Taiwan’s air defense zone in recent months. 

What Happened: Taiwan’s defense ministry said the incursions were made by 42 J-10, J-11, J-16 and Su-30 fighter jets, two Y-8 maritime patrol aircrafts, a KJ-500 early warning aircraft, as well as a CH-4 and a WZ-7 military drone. 

See Also: Xi Jinping’s Government Sanctions 2 Americans Over Tibet Rights Controversy

The self-governed island nation responded by tasking combat air patrol aircraft, navy vessels and land-based missile systems.

This comes after U.S. President Joe Biden, on Friday, signed a sweeping new defense bill into law that included the establishment of a defense modernization program for Taiwan to deter Chinese aggression.

The U.S. National Defense Authorization Act authorizes up to $10 billion in weapons sales to Taiwan amid a rising threat from Beijing. 

The Chinese military blamed Taiwan and the U.S. for the incursions and said the “strike drill” was in response to escalating “collusion and provocations” from Washington and Taipei. The military will take “all necessary measures to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” reported Bloomberg citing a statement from the Eastern Theater Command.

Last week, Taiwan scrambled combat jets to warn away 39 Chinese aircraft that entered its southeastern air defense zone. The ministry had said that many of the aircraft flew over a waterway known as the Bashi Channel to an area off the island’s southeastern coast.

Check out more of Benzinga’s Europe and Asia coverage by following this link.

Image and article originally from www.benzinga.com. Read the original article here.