The United States accused China of “provocative military activity” on Sunday after dozens of military aircraft flew into Taiwan’s airspace.
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry tweeted that 16 fighter jets entered the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) on Sunday.
This came after it said that 39 military planes (20 in the daytime and 19 others at night) violated its airspace on Saturday.
This followed the incursion of 38 Chinese aircraft on Friday, which Taiwan said was the largest Chinese military aircraft to date.
Friday’s activity came as celebrations were held for the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement on Sunday that the United States was “deeply concerned.”
Because of what he called “China’s provocative military activity near Taiwan”.
This, he added, “is destabilizing, risks miscalculation, and undermines regional peace and stability.”
“We urge Beijing to stop its military, diplomatic, economic, and coercive pressure against Taiwan,” he said.
China has been sending military aircraft to the area south of Taiwan frequently for more than a year in an apparent attempt to intensify military and political pressure.
An ADIZ is the type of airspace that many countries define around their territory as a means of air traffic control but is not recognized by international law.
Beijing also considers Taiwan an illegal breakaway province, which is part of its territory.
When the civil war between the Communists and Nationalists ended in 1949 with the victory of the former, the latter formed a rival government in Taipei.
The increased air activity comes against the backdrop of strained relations between Washington and Beijing, the world’s two largest economies have been at sharp odds over a range of issues including cybersecurity, human rights, and trade.
Price said the United States’ commitment to Taiwan was “extremely rigorous” and that Washington would continue to help Taipei “maintain sufficient self-defense capability.”
There was no comment from Beijing about sending the planes toward Taiwan, but the Global Times, a state-run newspaper and website, reported the incursion on Friday.
Beijing has previously said that such flights protect the country’s sovereignty and target “collusion” between Taipei and foreign forces.