Taiwan's defense ministry announced on Monday that it had identified 57 Chinese aircraft and four naval boats operating near the island in the previous 24 hours, including 28 aircraft that flew inside Taiwan's air defense zone.

According to a ministry-provided map, some of the 28 passed the Taiwan Strait median line, an unofficial boundary between the two sides, including Su-30 and J-16 fighters, while two nuclear-capable H-6 bombers flew to the south of Taiwan.
China considers Taiwan, which is democratically run, to be its own territory, and has been increasing pressure on Taiwan in order to make those claims.

In a statement released late on Sunday, the People's Liberation Army's Eastern Theatre Command said that its forces had organized "joint combat readiness patrols and actual combat drills" in the sea and airspace surrounding Taiwan, with a focus on land strikes and sea assaults.

In a brief statement, it was noted that the exercises were intended to test the unified fighting capabilities and "resolutely counter the provocative actions of external forces and Taiwan independence separatist forces."

Late last month, China conducted similar drills, and Taiwan reported that 43 Chinese aircraft breached the median line of the Taiwan Strait.

According to observers, the U.S. continues to be concerned about Taiwan's future, particularly in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February.

Taiwan vehemently rejects Beijing's claims of sovereignty, claiming that only the 23 million residents of the island have the power to determine its future.

Particularly incensed by U.S. assistance for Taiwan, including armament sales, is Beijing.
Although it does not have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan like the majority of nations, the U.S. is the island's biggest weaponry supplier and worldwide supporter.

China's military reported on Sunday that it has conducted combat drills around Taiwan, the second such operation in less than a month.

China, which has never abandoned the use of force to seize the island, has conducted frequent military incursions into Taiwanese waters and airspace over the last three years.

Following a visit to Taipei by then-U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, China conducted war games surrounding the island last August.

Chinese President Xi Jinping stated at the Communist Party Congress that China desires peaceful reunification but reserves the right to take all necessary measures, including the use of force.

Xi reminded his U.S. counterpart, Joe Biden, on the sidelines of the G20 conference in Bali in November that the Taiwan issue is a "first red line" in bilateral relations that must not be crossed.