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The ministry said some planes and ships had crossed the sensitive median line in the Taiwan Strait that separates the island from mainland China.

“Our military has issued a warning, deployed combat air patrol ships and naval vessels, and activated land-based missile systems in response to this situation,” the ministry said.

China has yet to issue any statement on the purpose of Saturday’s military drills.

The news comes after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a controversial visit to the self-governing democratic island earlier this week, as China has conducted a series of military exercises around Taiwan since Thursday.
The Chinese Communist Party considers Taiwan its territory, although it has never controlled it, and has long vowed to “unify” the island with mainland China – by force if necessary.

Ignoring the backlash against her visit, Pelosi landed in Taipei on Tuesday night as part of a larger tour of Asia that ended on Friday with a final stop in Japan.

China sends warships and jets to Taiwan and raises alarm in Japan as tensions escalate

But the full impact of her visit is only now being felt, with China halting cooperation on a variety of issues, souring already tense U.S.-China relations and intensifying exercises in the skies and waters near Taiwan.

On Friday, 68 Chinese warplanes were reported in the Taiwan Strait, according to Taiwan’s Defense Ministry. Of these, 49 entered Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone – the airspace buffer area commonly known as the Air Defense Identification Zone. That’s just a few fewer than last year’s record of 56 Chinese warplanes entering the air defense identification zone on the same day.

The Defense Ministry said 19 warplanes also crossed the median line in the Taiwan Strait on Friday.

On Thursday, China fired 11 ballistic missiles, some of which flew over the island of Taiwan and landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone, prompting Tokyo to file a formal complaint with Beijing. That was the first time China fired missiles at the island.

Also on Thursday, two Chinese drones flew near Japan’s Okinawa prefecture, prompting the Japan Air Self-Defense Force to scramble fighter jets in response.

According to Chinese state media, the drills are scheduled to run through Sunday, Beijing local time.

Japan and other G7 economies have urged China to stop exercises in the strait and maintain the status quo in the region.

Military drills tout China's ruthless message in Taiwan Strait
Beijing responded with a diplomatic slam, canceling future phone calls between U.S. and Chinese defense leaders, an annual naval meeting between the two countries and a planned meeting between Chinese and Japanese officials.

China’s foreign ministry on Friday announced a series of countermeasures against the United States, including sanctions against Pelosi and her immediate family.

China has also suspended bilateral climate negotiations; cooperation on repatriation of illegal immigrants, transnational crime and drug operations; and legal aid in criminal matters.

The White House on Friday accused China of “punishing the world” by ending climate cooperation, while the Defense Department said China “chooses to overreact and use the Speaker’s visit as an excuse to increase provocative military activity in the United States and surrounding areas.” Taiwan Strait. “

John Kirby, communications coordinator at the National Security Council, said not all communications between the U.S. and China have ceased, and some channels remain open between senior leaders — but added that suspending communications remains “irresponsible.” “.

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