China stages combat patrols after warning Taiwan about U.S. speaker meeting
Taiwan's defence ministry said, nine Chinese aircraft crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait on Friday carrying out combat readiness patrols, condemning what it called an "irrational" deployment.
The rise in tension comes as Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen is in the United States stopping off on her way to Central America.
She is expected to meet U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in Los Angeles on her way back to Taipei in April, and China this week threatened unspecified retaliation if that meeting were to do ahead.
Taiwan's defence ministry said the nine Chinese aircraft crossed at points in the north, centre and south of the strait's median line, which used to serve as an unofficial buffer between the two sides.
The ministry said, Taiwan's armed forces responded using its own aircraft and ships to monitor the situation using the principle of "not escalating conflicts or causing disputes."