The defense ministry of Taiwan reported on Saturday that, during a span of 24 hours, 41 Chinese military aircraft had been spotted circling the island, a day after Beijing said “diehard” advocates of Taiwan’s independence could face the death penalty.

China has stated that it will never give up using force to subjugate Taiwan and claim it as part of its territory. Taiwan is a democratic island nation. Following the inauguration of new Taiwanese leader Lai Ching-te last month, it has increased pressure on Taipei in recent years and conducted war simulations throughout the island.

Taipei’s defence ministry announced on Saturday that during the twenty-four-hour period ending at 6:00 a.m. (2200 GMT), it had discovered 41 Chinese military aircraft and seven naval vessels operating around Taiwan. The ministry mentioned in a statement that “32 of the aircraft crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait,” referring to a line that splits the 180-kilometre (110-mile) strait dividing Taiwan from China. In addition, the ministry stated that it had “monitored the situation and responded accordingly.”

The most recent encroachment occurred after China, according to state media, issued judicial rules on Friday that included the death penalty for “particularly serious” cases involving “diehard” advocates of Taiwanese independence.

The greatest number of Chinese military aircraft seen in a single day this year was detected by Taiwan on May 25, when China conducted military exercises in the wake of Lai’s inauguration. Beijing sees Lai as a “dangerous separatist.”

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