China on launched “real-combat” drills near the Taiwan Strait as a top US official visits Taiwan, which Beijing claims as a breakaway region.
Chinese fighter jets appeared in Taiwanese airspace from four directions, media reports from Taipei said as Beijing launched maritime and airspace drills near the aelf-ruled island on Friday, leading Taiwan to scramble its own warplanes.
The drills come as Keith Krach, US Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment, arrived in Taiwan late Thursday, and will attend the memorial service for former Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui on Saturday.
Krach’s visit comes within a month of US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar’s trip to Taiwan as Washington and Taipei warm up ties, much to the anger of Beijing.
Krach and Azar are two of the highest-level US officials to visit Taiwan in decades.