On Sunday, Taiwan reported that it warned away 39 Chinese aircraft flying toward the island, in the largest incursion of China’s air force in its defense zone since October.
The defense ministry said Taiwanese fighters moved quickly to warn away the aircraft, which included 34 fighters, four electronic warfare aircraft, and one bomber, according to Reuters.
China claims Taiwan as its own territory, and the island has long complained of Beijing’s air force conducting threatening missions near the island.
During the four-day period beginning on Oct. 1, which is a patriotic holiday known as National Day for China, Taiwan said 148 Chinese air force planes flew through its air defense zone. Since then, Taiwan has reported Chinese air force incursions in that air space almost daily, Reuters reported.
Taiwan has called the continued military activities in such close proximity a form of “grey zone” warfare that both tests the island’s responses and tires fighters who are repeatedly forced to scramble, Reuters added.
China, which typically characterizes such missions as drills intended to protect the country’s sovereignty, did not comment on the most recent flights, Reuters also said.
Taiwan, which is democratically governed, has been the subject of increased pressure from China to accept its sovereignty claims.
Taiwan’s government says that, though it desires peace, it will defend itself in the event of an attack.