Chinese warplanes, jets near Taiwan Strait amid tensions

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Chinese warplanes, jets near Taiwan Strait amid tensions

The ministry said that some of the aircraft and vessels had crossed the sensitive median line in the Taiwan Strait that separates the island from the Chinese mainland.

The ministry said our military has deployed combat air patrol and naval vessels and activated land-based missile systems in response to the situation.

China has not yet issued any statements on the purpose of the military drills on Saturday.

The Chinese Communist Party views Taiwan as its territory, despite never having controlled it, and has pledged to reunify the island with the Chinese mainland by force if necessary. Pelosi landed in Taipei on Tuesday night as part of a larger Asia tour that wrapped up Friday with a last stop in Japan, as part of Pelosi's furious opposition to her visit. The Chinese military sends warships and jets close to Taiwan and sparks alert in Japan as tensions rise. The full ramifications of her visit are only now emerging, with China halting cooperation on various issues, worsening already strained US-China ties, and ramping up exercises in the skies and waters around Taiwan. According to Taiwan's Defense Ministry, 68 Chinese warplanes were reported in the Taiwan Strait on Friday. Of those 49 entered Taiwan's air defense identification zone, a buffer of airspace commonly referred to as ADIZ. That was just a few planes short of the record set last year when 56 Chinese warplanes entered the ADIZ on the same day. Nineteen of the warplanes crossed the median line that separates the Taiwan Strait, the ministry said on Friday. 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 lodge a formal complaint with Beijing. It was the first time that China had sent missiles over the island. Two Chinese drones flew near Japan's Okinawa prefecture on Thursday, prompting Japan's Air Self-Defense Force to scramble fighter jets in response. The drills are scheduled to last until Sunday local time in Beijing, according to Chinese state media. Japan and other G 7 economies have urged China to halt its exercises in the strait and maintain the status quo in the region. Beijing reacted diplomatically by cancelling future phone calls between Chinese and US defense leaders, annual naval meetings between the two countries and planned meetings between Chinese and Japanese officials. China's Foreign Ministry has announced a series of countermeasures against the US on Friday, including sanctions against Pelosi and her immediate family. China has also suspended bilateral climate talks, cooperation on the repatriation of illegal immigrants, transnational crimes and drug operations, and legal assistance on criminal matters. The White House accused China of punishing the whole world by ending cooperation on the climate, while the Department of Defense said China had chosen to overreact and use the speaker's visit as a pretext to increase provocative military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. John Kirby, Communications Coordinator at the National Security Council, said that not all communication had been stopped between the US and China and that certain channels between senior leaders remained open, but added that suspensions were still an irresponsible act.