China began on Saturday military exercises around taiwan as a “serious warning” to separatist forces, in an angry but long-awaited response to the vice president’s visit William Lai To united states. Lai, the favorite to become Taiwan’s president in the January elections, returned from the United States on Friday. He officially only made a stopover on his round trip to Paraguay, but he made speeches during his stay in the United States.
China considers Taiwan its own territory, despite strong objections from the island’s government.
The People’s Liberation Army Command, which is responsible for the area around Taiwan, said in a brief statement that it was conducting joint naval and air patrols of combat readiness around the island.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense stated that had detected 42 aircraft and eight Chinese ships participating in maneuvers around the island since Saturday morning and had deployed ships and aircraft in response.
Twenty-six Chinese planes crossed the 100 km-wide median line of the Taiwan Strait or areas beyond each end of the line, the ministry said in a statement. During decadesthe line has served as an unofficial barrier between both armies.