42 Chinese fighter jets cross Taiwan Strait to conduct military drills

On Saturday, the People's Libertation Army of the CCP conducted combat drills around Taiwan, including 42 fighter jets crossing the Taiwan Strait's meridian line, following Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen's visit to the US on Wednesday and meeting with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Reuters reports the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Eastern Theatre Command said in a statement, "This is a serious warning to the Taiwan independence separatist forces and external forces' collusion and provocation, and it is a necessary action to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity."

The PLA previously said it was planning to hold three-day drills around the north, south, and east of Taiwan as part of combat readiness patrols and made the announcement when President Tsai returned to Taiwan from her US trip.

China insists Taiwan is part of its greater domain under their one China  principle. America's one China policy is a recognition of that principle and tacitly acknowledges Taiwan as part of the People's Republic of China.

On Saturday, Taiwan's Defence Ministry said they observed the 71 Chinese military aircraft flying over the meridian, which acts as an unofficial demarcation line between the two countries.

Taiwan's Defence Ministry said in a statement that China used the Taiwanese president's visit to the US as "an excuse to carry out military exercises, which has seriously damaged regional peace, stability and security."

"The military will respond with a calm, rational and serious attitude, and will stand guard and monitor in accordance with the principles of 'not escalating nor disputes' to defend national sovereignty and national security," they added.

In January, China began combat drills in the "waters" and "aerial areas" around Taiwan, claiming the move was "countering collusion between external forces and TW (Taiwan) secessionists."

Tensions in the region have been rising. In 2022 former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan on August 2 despite warnings from China that it could be considered an act of aggression. Chinese President Xi Jinping told Joe Biden directly that Pelosi shouldn't visit Taiwan and said "those who play with fire will only get burnt." 

In 2021, China released it's 3-point plan for taking over Taiwan. In February, they said they would be ready to invade by 2027.

In February, China’s Foreign Ministry said that Biden's downing of the Chinese surveillance balloon in the Atlantic Ocean after it traversed a large portion of the continental United States was an "overreaction and a serious violation of international practice."

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