TAIPEI -- Twenty-four Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwanese airspace Thursday, according to Taiwan's defense ministry, less than a day after Taipei announced its bid to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.
The incursions into Taiwan's southwestern air-defense identification zone included 14 Shenyang J-16 fighter jets and two Shaanxi Y-8 planes.
This latest shot across the bow came as China, which considers Taiwan a breakaway province, said Thursday it "strongly opposes" Taipei's independent application to join the regional trade pact. China formally applied to join the CPTPP last week.
Taiwan's foreign ministry condemned the incursions by Chinese aircraft.
"The Chinese government already bullied Taiwan for its bid to join the CPTPP and threatened Taiwan with massive air force harassment," despite Chinese President Xi Jinping's claim in his United Nations speech that Beijing "has never and will never invade or bully others," the ministry said in a statement.
China "has never ruled Taiwan a single day and has no right to speak on behalf of Taiwan in international space," the statement said.
Chinese incursions around Taiwan have been a regular occurrence since late last year in response to not only moves by Taipei itself but also shows of support from countries such as the U.S.
After Group of Seven leaders issued a statement in June emphasizing "peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait," China condemned what it called "foreign interference" in its "internal affairs." China's largest flight yet into Taiwan's air-defense identification zone, with 28 military aircraft, followed shortly thereafter.
This month has seen more such flybys -- with 19 planes on Sept. 5 and 10 on Sept. 17 -- amid developments that included U.S. activity in the South China Sea.