TAIPEI (AP) -- China sent several dozen warplanes to Taiwan and eleven warships in a show of force after its president visited the U.S. Monday, Taiwan's Defense Ministry stated.
Three-day 'combat ready patrols' were announced by the Chinese military to Taiwan earlier. Taiwan is a self-ruled territory that China claims. These actions are in response to President TsaiIng-wen’s delicate diplomatic mission in Central America to strengthen U.S. support and shore up Taiwan’s dwindling alliances. The trip was capped by a sensitive meeting in California with U.S. House speaker Kevin McCarthy. Tsai was also accompanied by a U.S. congressional delegation to Taiwan over the weekend.
China responded to McCarthy's meeting by imposing travel bans and financial sanctions on those who were associated with Tsai’s U.S. visit and increased military activity.
According to Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense, 70 planes were identified between 6 a.m. on Sunday and 6 am Monday. Half of them crossed the Taiwan Strait median, which was an unofficial boundary that both sides had previously tacitly accepted. The median was crossed by 8 J-16 fighter planes, 4 J-1 fighters as well as 8 Su-30 fighters and reconnaissance aircraft.
This was after a long day of activity that saw eight warships and seventy-one planes being detected in Taiwan's Defense Ministry. In a statement, the ministry stated that it approached the situation with the view of "not escalating conflict" and "not causing disputes."
See All 936 Images
Taiwan claimed it was monitoring the Chinese movements through its land-based missile system and on its navy vessels.
The local Maritime Authority announced that in addition to the combat readiness patrols, China's People's Liberation Army would conduct 'live fire training' at Luoyuan Bay, China's Fujian Province, opposite Taiwan.
In recent years, China has increased its military harassment of Taiwan with planes and ships being sent to the island almost daily. The number is rising due to sensitive activities.
After a civil war, Taiwan split from China in 1949. China's ruling Communist Party claims that Taiwan is legally bound to join the mainland. Force may be used if necessary. Beijing claims that contact with foreign officials encourages Taiwanese to seek formal independence. This is a step which the ruling party believes would lead directly to war.