China sent 18 warplanes and fighter jets to fly over Taiwan Friday while the U.S. met with Taiwanese officials, The Associated Press reported.
Taiwan’s defense ministry said two bombers and 16 fighter jets flew into their air defense identification zone, according to the AP. Undersecretary of State Keith Krach was meeting with the minister of economic affairs and the vice premier of Taiwan, the AP reported. (RELATED: Commerce Department Says No New Downloads Of TikTok, WeChat)
Krach also met with business leaders and is planning to meet Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen Friday, according to the AP. Taiwan’s defense ministry said its own jets were readied and they were watching the planes’ movements.
“Recently, the U.S. and (Taiwan’s ruling) Democratic Progressive Party authorities have stepped up their collusion and frequently stir up troubles,” Chinese defense ministry spokesperson Ren Guoqiang said to reporters, according to the AP.
“Whether it is using Taiwan to contain China or relying on foreign powers to threaten others, it is wishful thinking and is destined to be a dead end,” Ren continued.
Ren said the exercises were a “legitimate and necessary action taken in response to the current situation across the Taiwan Straits to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” according to the AP.
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The Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army had combat exercises near the Taiwan Strait as a response to Krach’s visit, the AP reported. It’s at least the second round of exercises with the purpose to intimidate those who support Taiwan’s independence, according to the AP.
The State Department did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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