Ten Chinese aircraft crossed the Taiwan Strait median line, normally an unofficial barrier between the mainland and the island, Taiwan’s defence ministry has said.
Nine Chinese fighter jets and one military drone crossed the median line in the 24 hours to 6am on Saturday, the ministry said in its daily report on Chinese military activities.
Taiwan sent aircraft to warn away the Chinese aircraft, while missile systems monitored them, the ministry said, using standard wording for its response.
Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory, has complained in recent years of almost daily missions by the Chinese air force near the democratically governed island, often in the south-western part of its air defence identification zone.
Beijing has threatened unspecified retaliation if the Taiwanese president, Tsai Ing-wen, who is now travelling in the Americas, should meet the US House of Representatives’ speaker, Kevin McCarthy. She is expected to meet him in Los Angeles on her way back to Taipei this month from Central America.
China staged war games around Taiwan in August after the then speaker, Nancy Pelosi, visited Taipei and has continued military activities near Taiwan, though on a reduced scale.
A senior Taiwanese official told Reuters this week China was unlikely to repeat such large exercises, but all preparations were made in case China reacted “irrationally“.
Separately, nine Chinese aircraft crossed the median line on Friday carrying out combat readiness patrols, a move that Taiwan’s defence ministry said “deliberately created tension” and undermined peace and stability.