Taiwan Scrambles Fighter Jets as Looming Chinese Military Presence Pushes Its Limits

As tensions between China and Taiwan continue to escalate, Taiwan prepared fighter jets in response to China edging closer to the island on Saturday.

Taiwan’s defense ministry said the jets were scrambled to ward off 20 Chinese aircraft, including 14 that crossed the Taiwan Strait median line, according to Reuters.

Fourteen Chinese ships were also detected in the waters around Taiwan, the outlet reported.

The Taiwanese military said Beijing was simulating an attack on the island.

“China’s military drills have unilaterally changed the current situation in the region and seriously damaged the peace in the Taiwan Strait,” the Taiwanese defense ministry said.

On Wednesday, Taiwanese jets reacted to 27 Chinese aircraft crossing the median line that separates the island from the mainland, The Sun reported.

That maneuver came shortly before U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi departed Taiwan after a controversial visit.

The House speaker landed in Taiwan on Tuesday despite China’s threats of retaliation if she went through with the proposed visit.

Pelosi is the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Taiwan in 25 years.

In a Wednesday statement, Pelosi said her visit “should be seen as a strong statement that America stands with Taiwan.”

“America’s solidarity with the people of Taiwan is more important today than ever, as we continue to support the defense of democracy against autocracy in the region and in the world,” Pelosi said.

In response to her visit, China’s Foreign Ministry took several steps against the U.S., CNN reported.

The countermeasures included the cancellation of future calls and meetings between Chinese and U.S. defense leaders and the end of cooperation on illegal immigration, anti-drug enforcement and climate change.

China also sanctioned Pelosi and her family, accusing her of “seriously interfering in China’s internal affairs, seriously undermining China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, seriously trampling on the one-China principle, and seriously threatening the peace and stability across Taiwan Strait.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.