42 Chinese Warplanes, 8 Vessels Sent Toward Taiwan After Tsai’s US Meeting

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China reportedly sent 42 warplanes and eight naval vessels toward Taiwan on April 8 in response to Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen’s meeting with U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on April 5 in California.

Taiwan’s military detected the Chinese aircraft and ships at about 11 a.m. (local time), with 29 aircraft spotted crossing the “northern, central, southern median line of the Taiwan Strait,” according to Taiwan’s Defense Ministry.

The ministry stated that the 29 aircraft “attempted coercion on us” by flying into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), an area where foreign aircraft are identified before entering a country’s territorial airspace.

“We condemn such an irrational act that has jeopardized regional security and stability,” the ministry said in a statement posted on Twitter.

Earlier in the day, Taiwan detected 13 Chinese warplanes and three vessels near the island at 6 a.m. (local time), with four aircraft spotted crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait and Taiwan’s southwest ADIZ.

Taiwan responded by activating aircraft, navy vessels, and land-based missile systems to monitor the Chinese military’s activities.

CCP Gives ‘Serious Warning’ With Fresh Drills

Beijing’s actions came as the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) military announced on April 8 that it was beginning three days of combat readiness patrols and “Joint Sword” exercises around Taiwan, involving police patrols.

The drills will be conducted in the Taiwan Strait and “to the northern and southern parts of Taiwan, and the airspace to the east of Taiwan as planned” from April 8 to April 10, Senior Col. Shi Yi, spokesperson for the People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater Command, said in a statement.

“This is a serious warning against the Taiwan independence separatist forces colluding with external forces to provoke, and a necessary action to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Shi said.

The People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Eastern Theater Command—the CCP’s armed wing—stated that the drills will focus on its “ability to seize sea control, air control, and information control under the support of the joint combat system.”

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