Colonel Shi Yi, spokesperson for the Eastern Front Command of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), said in a statement that the exercise, which was held in the airspace and waters north and southwest of Taiwan, "is a stern warning against the cooperation of forces defending Taiwan's independence with foreign powers."
Spokesperson Shi said that the exercise, in which naval and air force elements participated, was an "emergency combat readiness patrol and drill" and "focused on the coordination of aircraft and ships and the ability to control air and sea areas."
The command's social media account shared a video of the exercise, and state broadcaster CCTV reported that ships carrying guided missiles and fighter jets participated in the exercise.
Taiwan's Ministry of Defense announced that 42 Chinese military aircraft and 8 warships were spotted around the island from midnight last night until the evening hours today.
Taiwan's armed forces are closely monitoring the situation with fighter jets, ships, detection and tracking vehicles, and ground-based missile systems, the statement said.
The drills came after Lai, the acting leader of Taiwan, which is in a sovereignty dispute with China, returned to the island after a visit to Paraguay and a stop in San Francisco, USA.
The "transit visits" of Lai, who is the candidate of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in Taiwan's leadership elections next year, drew the reaction of China, which considers the island as part of its territory.
Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen also made "transit visits" to the United States in early April, before and after her visits to the Central American countries of Guatemala and Belize, where she met with US House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
In response to the visit, the Chinese military organized a 3-day military exercise around the island.
Following the visit, the Chinese military organized military drills that created a de facto blockade around the island, and guided missiles fired from the Chinese mainland fell into Taiwan waters during the drills using real weapons and ammunition.
Source: Anadolu Agency