CHINA LAUNCHES MILITARY DRILLS IN TAIWAN STRAIT AMID US TENSIONS
China said Friday that it has started military drills in the Taiwan Strait and surrounding waters, amid tensions over the recent visit by a senior US State Department official to the self-governed island.
The spokesman for the People’s Liberation Army said the move is a legitimate and necessary action taken in response to the current situation across Taiwan Strait to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
His remarks came a day after Keith Krach, US undersecretary of state for economic growth, energy, and the environment, arrived in Taiwan to attend the memorial service for former President Lee Teng-hui.
Washington has said his trip is aimed at honoring Lee’s legacy “by continuing our strong bonds with Taiwan.”
During his stay, Krach met with independence-leaning Tsai Ing-wen, who has served as Taiwan’s president since 2016.
Also Friday, Taiwan’s air force scrambled planes to warn off 18 Chinese warplanes crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait and flying over waters southwest of Taiwan’s air defense identification zone.
The movement was observed based on a real-time platform the ministry established on its website.
The planes were identified as eight J-16 fighters, four J-11, and four J-10 fighters, and two H-6 jet bombers.