Nearly two dozen Chinese fighter jets crossed the Taiwan Strait dividing line as China fired off missiles in a show of force

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Nearly two dozen Chinese fighter jets crossed the Taiwan Strait dividing line as China fired off missiles in a show of force
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A J-11 air fighter takes off from a PLA military airport in a training session in east China's Zhejiang province in late August 2021.
A J-11 air fighter takes off from a PLA military airport in a training session in east China's Zhejiang province in late August 2021.Feature China/Future Publishing via Getty Images
  • Chinese warplanes crossed the median line dividing the Taiwan Strait for the second day in a row on Thursday.

  • China also began military drills around Taiwan and launched ballistic missiles into waters near the island.

  • The moves come on the heels of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's controversial visit to the self-ruled island.

Nearly two dozen Chinese warplanes crossed the median line dividing the Taiwan Strait on Thursday as China began four days of military drills involving live fire around the island.

Twenty-two Chinese military aircraft — eight Shenyang J-11 fighter jets, 12 Russian-made Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets and two Shenyang J-16 fighter jets — entered Taiwan's air defense identification zone and then crossed the median line, according to Taiwan's defense ministry.

Though China routinely sends military aircraft, from fighters to bombers, into Taiwan's ADIZ, military flights across the median line are less common occurrences. Taiwan's defense ministry said it scrambled aircraft in response. It also issued radio warnings and had its air defense systems monitoring the Chinese activity.

This week, more than 70 Chinese aircraft have flown sorties in and around the Taiwan Strait, and many have crossed the contentious dividing line of the Taiwan Strait. The latest moves come as Beijing conducts military drills around the self-governing island in response to a visit from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, high-level engagement that has frustrated Chinese leadership.

On Thursday, China's military launched multiple ballistic missiles into waters near Taiwan, something they have not done since the Third Taiwan Strait Crisis in 1996. The missile were identified by Taiwan's defense ministry as "DF ballistic missiles," which could be any of a number of different weapons in the Dongfeng missile series.

Reports indicated China's People's Liberation Army Rocket Force fired 11 missiles into waters northeast and southwest of the island of Taiwan.

The ongoing Chinese drills are being conducted in the air and at sea in six areas surrounding Taiwan, and the exercises are expected to continue until Aug. 7. The announcement that China would be conducting these drills came after Nancy Pelosi arrived in Taipei on Tuesday. Prior to Pelosi's visit, China, which has long claimed Taiwan as an inseparable part of its territory, issued numerous warnings about a possible military response.

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