Amid rising tensions in South China Sea, Taiwan defence ministry said China is simulating attack on its main island, news agency AFP reported. "Multiple batches of Chinese planes and ships spotted crossing median line of Taiwan Strait," according to defence ministry. "They were judged to be conducting a simulation of an attack on Taiwan's main island."
China stepped up its provocative military drills and warplane incursions in the Taiwan Straits, as Beijing announced sanctions on US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in retaliation for her high-stakes visit to Taiwan and cancelled bilateral talks with Washington on defence, climate change and a range of other issues.
Pelosi's visit to Taiwan when she met President Tsai Ing-wen and other leaders, has infuriated China's ruling Communist Party, which views the self-governed democratic island as its territory that should be reunified with the mainland, even by force.
China has declared four days of military exercises in six designated zones surrounding Taiwan, as part of its angry response to Pelosi's visit to Taipei. The Eastern Theatre Command of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) which oversees Taiwan, continued to conduct joint combat exercises and training in the northern, southwestern and eastern waters and airspace off Taiwan island for the second day on Friday.
The PLA dispatched 68 aircraft and 13 vessels for the activities around the Taiwan Strait, part of which had crossed the median line and jeopardised the status quo of the strait, Taiwan's Defence Ministry said on Twitter.
On Thursday, the first day of the four-day drills, the PLA conducted a series of live-fire exercises and training operations around Taiwan, including the firing of multiple ballistic missiles to vent its anger over Pelosi's visit. More than 100 aircraft, including the PLA's best combat planes such as the J-20 stealth fighter jet, the J-16 strike jet and the YY-20 aerial refuelling aircraft were sent to airspace to the north, southwest and southeast of Taiwan to perform joint reconnaissance, air penetration and fire support drills, state-run China Daily reported.
More than 10 guided-missile destroyers and frigates had been deployed near Taiwan to enforce blockade and area-denial tasks. "The recent coercion from People's Republic of China's drills around us aimed to change the status quo of Taiwan Strait, violated our sovereignty, and caused tension in the Indo-Pacific region. #ROCArmedForces seek no escalation, but we succumb to no challenges and respond with reason," Taiwan's defence ministry tweeted.