China held three days of military exercises in response to Taiwan's president meeting with the US House speaker


  • The Taiwanese Defense Ministry tracked 70 Chinese military aircraft and 11 naval vessels around the island Sunday
  • At least 35 Chinese warplanes entered Taiwan's air defense identification zone
  • A People's Liberation Army spokesperson called China's military drills a "stern warning" to Taiwan

Tensions between China and Taiwan soared anew after Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen met with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in California Wednesday.

The Taiwanese Ministry of National Defense spotted 70 Chinese military aircraft and 11 naval ships around the self-ruled island Sunday, Taiwan News reported.

At least 35 People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) warplanes entered Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) Sunday, including Sukhoi Su-30, Chengdu J-10, Shenyang J-11, Shenyang J-15, Shenyang J-16 fighter jets, Xian H-6 bombers, Xi'an Y-20 aerial refueling aircraft, Shaanxi Y-8 anti-submarine warfare aircraft, Shaanxi Y-9 electronic warfare planes and KJ-500 early warning aircraft.

The Taiwanese defense ministry responded by dispatching its combat patrol aircraft, naval vessels, and air defense missile systems.

The increased Chinese military presence around Taiwan was due to Beijing's ongoing three-day military drills, dubbed "Joint Sword."

Shi Yin, a spokesperson for the People's Liberation Army (PLA), said the Chinese military drills were in response to Tsai meeting with McCarthy despite China's repeated warnings against it.

"These operations serve as a stern warning against the collusion between separatist forces seeking 'Taiwan independence' and external forces and against their provocative activities," Shi said.

The drills, which are slated to end Monday, include simulations encircling Taiwan and attacking its key targets on the island, a report from Chinese state-run broadcaster CCTV said, citing the PLA's Eastern Theater Command.

The report also stated that China mobilized "long-range rocket artillery, naval destroyers, missile boats, air force fighters, bombers, jammers and refuellers" in its military drills.

The Taiwanese defense ministry lashed out at China over its military drills near the island, arguing that it "seriously undermined peace, stability, and security in the region."

On Wednesday, the Taiwanese president met with the Republican House Speaker and a bipartisan congressional delegation at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California.

McCarthy called Tsai "a great friend to America" while vowing to "find ways for the people of America and Taiwan to work together to promote economic freedom, democracy, peace and stability in Asia," CNBC reported.

Tsai thanked U.S. lawmakers for approving billions of dollars' worth of military assistance to Taiwan while warning that "democracy is under threat."

The meeting angered China, with a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson saying, "China firmly opposes and strongly condemns it."

China also urged the U.S. to "stop containing China by exploiting the Taiwan issue," according to CNN.

This was the second time Tsai met with the third-highest-ranking U.S. official in months.

In August 2022, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, McCarthy's predecessor, made an unprecedented visit to the self-ruled island to showcase the U.S.' commitment to defend Taiwan.

Pelosi's visit to Taiwan was met with intense condemnation and large military drills from China.

Following Taiwan's split after a bloody civil war in 1949, China has not recognized the island's independence.

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen meets the U.S. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, in Simi Valley, California