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China sends planes, ships to Taiwan after US arms sales announcement

China sends planes, ships to Taiwan after US arms sales announcement

China sent dozens of aircraft and ships to Taiwan on Saturday, days after the United States approved a $500 million arms sale to Taiwan, Taiwan’s defense ministry said.

Taiwan detected 32 People’s Liberation Army aircraft and nine Chinese naval vessels in the 24 hours between 06:00 on Friday and Saturday, the ministry said in a statement.

Of those, 20 flights crossed the middle of the Taiwan Strait or violated Taiwan’s airspace. In response, Taipei ordered its aircraft, ships and missile systems to respond to the operations, the military said.

China considers the self-governing island a rogue province to be recaptured by force if necessary. Over the past year, Beijing has increased its military maneuvers around the region in response to its political moves. Last week, after Taiwan’s vice president stopped in the United States during an official visit to Paraguay, the Chinese military began “severe precautionary” maneuvers around the island.

The US State Department on Wednesday approved the sale to Taiwan of $500,000 worth of infrared search and track systems for F-16 fighter jets and other related equipment.

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