Chinese fighter jets have crossed the Taiwan Strait, local media reported today, as tensions flare over an visit to Taiwan by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi is the highest-ranked American politican to visit the island in 25 years.
“China’s Su-35 fighter jets are crossing the Taiwan Straits,” state TV CGTN reported, without adding further details.
The Chinese leadership has repeatedly warned against Pelosi, a long-time critic of Beijing, making a trip to self-ruled Taiwan. China regards Taiwan as part of its territory and has vowed an unspecified military response to any Pelosi visit that risks sparking a crisis between the world’s biggest economies.
An hour after Nancy Pelosi landed in Taiwan, China vowed to launch “targeted military actions”. “The Chinese People’s Liberation Army is on high alert and will launch a series of targeted military operations to counter this, resolutely defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and resolutely thwart external interference and ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist attempts,” defence minsitry spokesperson Wu Qian said in a statement condemning the visit.
Earlier today, four US warships, including an aircraft carrier, were positioned in waters east of Taiwan on what the country’s Navy called routine deployments.