Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said some aircraft and ships have crossed the sensitive midline in the Taiwan Strait that separates the island from mainland China.
“Our military has broadcast alarms, deployed combat air patrols and military vessels, and activated ground-based missile systems in response to the situation,” the ministry said.
By 5 pm in Taiwan, 14 ships and 20 aircraft operated by the Chinese military had been detected around the Strait, according to a statement from the ministry. Of the 20 aircraft, 14 crossed the midline, he added.
The Chinese military has not yet released a statement on the purpose of Saturday’s exercises.
Pelosi ignored his furious opposition to his visit by landing in Taipei on Tuesday night as part of a larger Asian tour that concluded Friday with a final stop in Japan.
But the full ramifications of his visit are only now emerging, with China stepping up military exercises in the skies and waters around Taiwan and cutting off cooperation with the United States on various issues.
On Friday, 68 Chinese warplanes were reported in the Taiwan Strait, according to the Taiwan Ministry of Defense. Of these, 49 entered the Taiwan Air Defense Identification Zone, an airspace reserve commonly referred to as ADIZ. It was just a few aircraft short of the record set last year when 56 Chinese warplanes entered ADIZ on the same day.
Nineteen of Friday’s warplanes also crossed the midline dividing the Taiwan Strait, the ministry said.
On Thursday, China launched 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 had sent missiles to the island.
Also on Thursday, two Chinese drones flew near Okinawa prefecture in Japan, prompting the Japanese air self-defense force to take off fighters in response.
The drills are expected to last until Sunday, local time in Beijing, according to Chinese state media.
Tension was high at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) foreign ministers meeting in Cambodia this week, where members initially planned to discuss three main topics: the Myanmar crisis, the South China Sea, and the war in Ukraine.
But Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan added “a fourth milestone … which has led to heated discussions on cross-strait relations,” Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn said at a Saturday press conference in Phnom Penh.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken both attended the ASEAN meeting; On Thursday, Wang denounced Pelosi’s visit as a demonstration of the “failure” of US politics and credibility, calling it “manic, irresponsible and highly irrational behavior.”
The next day, after Beijing launched its missiles on Taiwan, Blinken said China had “chosen to overreact and to use President Pelosi’s visit as a pretext to increase provocative military activity in and around the country. Taiwan Strait “.
On Saturday, Sokhonn described the meeting as lively, saying he needed to call all ministers to speak in a calm, dignified, polite, civil and diplomatic manner.
“There have been strong arguments, but in our opinion it is much better to exchange words than less friendly means,” he said.
Japan and other G7 economies have urged China to stop its military exercises and maintain the status quo in the region.
Beijing did not listen to those calls. Instead, he responded by canceling future phone calls between Chinese and US defense leaders and the annual naval meetings between the two countries. He also canceled scheduled meetings between Chinese and Japanese officials.
China has also summoned ambassadors from the USA, Japan and various European countries.
On Friday, the Chinese foreign ministry announced a series of countermeasures against the United States, including sanctions against Pelosi and his close relatives.
China also suspended bilateral climate talks and cooperation on issues including the repatriation of illegal immigrants and investigations into transnational crimes and drug operations.
“We should not hold cooperation on issues of global concern hostage due to the differences between our two countries,” Blinken told reporters Saturday, speaking in Manila, the capital of the Philippines.
China’s decision to suspend climate talks “could have lasting consequences for the region’s future, the future of our planet” and punish the developing world rather than the United States, he added.