Chinese military planes, vessels cross Taiwan Strait as another US congressional team visits Taipei

At least 45 Chinese military planes and seven naval vessels crossed the Taiwan Strait on Thursday when a US congressional delegation was on a visit to Taipei.

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said 25 of the detected Chinese military aircraft crossed the east part of the so-called median line of the Taiwan Strait and air defense identification zone.

The large number of Chinese aircraft crossed the Taiwan Strait on the day when the US delegation led by Representative Stephanie Murphy, the vice chair of the House Subcommittee on Intelligence and Special Operations, is visiting Taiwan.

They arrived in Taipei late Wednesday night.

It is the seventh trip to the self-ruled island nation this year by US officials, including one by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in early August, which triggered massive military drills by Beijing around Taiwan.

China considers Taiwan its “breakaway province,” but Taipei insists on independence since 1949, maintaining independent diplomatic relations with 14 nations.

In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning urged the US politicians to “immediately stop any form of official exchanges with China's Taiwan region, and stop sending wrong signals to Taiwan secessionists.”

Urging the US to adhere to the "one-China" principle, Mao said: “China will continue to take strong measures to firmly safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

In Taipei, President Tsai Ing-wen thanked the US Congress for its "rock-solid support" to Taiwan, telling the visiting delegation: “I want to take this opportunity to tell our friends that Taiwan will not bow to pressure or coercion. We will defend our democratic institution and way of life.

"Taiwan will not back down, and we will actively deepen cooperation with our diplomatic partners to jointly safeguard peace and security in the region.”

Source: AA

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