China conducts second day of military drills around Taiwan, simulates strikes on the island

On Sunday, the Chinese military deployed 71 aircrafts and nine naval vessels in Taiwan. This was the second consecutive day that the People’s Liberation Army conducted large drills close to the island.

It follows Taiwan President TsaiIng-wen’s return this week from a trip in the United States. She met with Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) and other legislators.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense gave its air force, navy and land-based missile system the task of monitoring the Chinese aircraft. 45 of them crossed the median line of Taiwan Strait, which is an unofficial buffer zone between Taiwan and mainland China.

According to Reuters, Chinese state television reported that units conducted “simulated joint precision strike on key targets on Taiwan Island and the surrounding areas.”

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China regularly sends ships and aircraft around Taiwan. However, this weekend’s drills were larger than usual in recent months.

Beijing was furious at McCarthy’s meeting with Taiwan’s president. It responded by imposing sanctions on Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and the Hudson Institute, which were both used for “providing an opportunity and convenience for Taiwan separatist activities”.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (Republican-States.C.) and other hawkish lawmakers are calling for the U.S. commitment to defend Taiwan in the event that China invades.

“The Congress should ask if we should have a defense deal with Taiwan. Graham spoke to Fox News Sunday. “Yes, I would be open to the use of U.S. forces in Taiwan defense, as it is in our national security interests to do so.

Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wisc.), the Chairman of House Select Committee on China noted that Chinese President Xi Jinping would like to reunify Taiwan by force if necessary.

Gallagher said that “the fact that the Chinese were throwing up about the Speaker meeting with Taiwan’s democratically elected leader on American soil just proves how sensitive they are.” Gallagher spoke to Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures. “We must move heaven and earth to boost power out to the Indo-Pacific, before it’s too late and before we get into another war.”

After visiting Japan and South Korea, House Foreign Affairs Chairman Michael McCaul (Republican from Texas) led a delegation to Taiwan this week.