BEIJING/TAIPEI, Nov. 9 (Reuters) – The Chinese military said on Tuesday it was conducting a combat-readiness patrol toward the Taiwan Strait after the Defense Ministry condemned a visit to Taiwan by a US congressional delegation it said had arrived with an army. airplanes.
The patrol targeted the “seriously wrong” words and actions of “relevant countries” on the Taiwan issue and the activities of pro-independence forces in Taiwan, a Chinese military spokesman said in a statement.
Tensions in the strait have increased in recent months, with Taiwan for a year or more complaining about repeated Chinese air force missions near the self-governed island that Beijing claims as its own. read more
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said on Tuesday that six Chinese military aircraft entered its southwestern air defense zone, including four J-16 fighter jets and two surveillance aircraft.
Several Taiwanese media outlets reported on Tuesday that unspecified members of both the US House of Representatives and the Senate had arrived in Taipei on a US military plane.
Taiwan’s presidential office declined to comment. The American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto US embassy in the absence of formal diplomatic ties, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Chinese defense ministry said in a statement that members of the United States Congress had arrived in Taiwan on a military plane.
“We strongly oppose and strongly condemn this,” it sounds.
In Washington, the Pentagon said it was not uncommon for congressional delegations to be transported on military aircraft.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby gave no details about who was on board, but said this was the second congressional trip to Taiwan this year.
“It’s not unusual,” Kirby said.
The Chinese military said the patrol was a test of its ability to operate across multiple troops.
China does not rule out the use of force to gain control of Taiwan, despite the island’s claim that it is an independent country that will defend its freedom and democracy.
In June, China’s Defense Ministry denounced a short weekend visit by three US senators to Taiwan on a US military plane, calling it a “despicable political provocation” that was irresponsible and dangerous. read more
Reporting by Meg Shen in Hong Kong, Ryan Woo and Yew Lun Tian in Beijing, Yimou Lee in Taipei, David Brunnstrom and Idrees Ali in Washington; Written by Tony Munroe; Editing by Andrew Heavens, Alex Richardson, Nick Macfie and Jonathan Oatis
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