The Taiwanese Defense Ministry says 42 Chinese military planes and eight ships crossed the Taiwan Strait median line – an unofficial dividing line between Chinese and Taiwanese territories – on April 8.
“29 of the detected aircraft had crossed northern, central, and southern median line of the Taiwan Strait and entered our southwest air defense identification zone, attempting coercion on us,” the Ministry tweeted.
The military activity follows Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen’s visit to the United States in late March and early April. Due to the unofficial nature of U.S.-Taiwan relations, these trips are designated as private unofficial transits rather than official government-to-government visits. During her visit, President Tsai met with U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and other members of Congress.
On April 5, McCarthy spoke about the need for continued arms sales to Taiwan. “Based on today’s conversations, it’s clear several actions are necessary: We must continue arms sales to Taiwan and make sure such sales reach Taiwan on time. We must also strengthen our economic cooperation, particularly with trade and technology,” the House Speaker said.
“After meeting with members of the U.S. Congress from both sides of the aisle, I was heartened by their strong bipartisan support for Taiwan,” President Tsai said on April 6.
The Taiwanese Defense Ministry is currently monitoring the situation in the Taiwan Strait and said it has tasked aircraft, Navy vessels, and land-based missile systems to respond to these activities.
China said its three day operation around Taiwan, which it calls “United Sharp Sword” would end on Monday.