Beijing has sent dozens of warplanes and warships near Taiwan, island government says
China has sent dozens of warplanes and warships near Taiwan’s shores, the island’s authorities said amid rising tensions in the region.
Beijing sent 68 planes and 13 ships to the island on Friday, some of which crossed the median line separating the Taiwan Strait, the Taiwanese Defense Ministry said, adding that the move “jeopardized the status quo of the strait.
The ministry said the island’s army “responded to such a situation accordingly” with patrol aircraft, warships and missile systems.
“[The Taiwanese] The Armed Forces seek no escalation, but we succumb to no challenge and respond with reason,” said the ministry.
China launched snap military drills around Taiwan on Wednesday in response to the visit to Taiwan this week by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The exercises include the simulation of a “blockade” of the island, as well as amphibious assaults and ground target strikes, according to the Chinese Ministry of Defense.
Beijing views the self-governing island as its territory and views visits such as Pelosi’s as attacks on its sovereignty and a violation of the “one China” principle, under which most countries refrain from diplomatically recognizing Taiwan as a country. as an independent nation.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi blasted Pelosi’s trip as “a complete farce” and warned that “Those who offend China will be punished.”
For her part, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen called on Beijing on Thursday to “exercise restraint” and swore to “Let us resolutely defend our sovereignty.
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