Beijing said on Friday that it is conducting military exercises near Taiwan, at a time when an American diplomat is visiting the region, an action that infuriated China.
Relations between the United States of America and China are at their lowest point in decades, with increasing tension in the areas of trade, military and security, as well as blame in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The tension between China and Taiwan dates back to the end of the civil war in 1949, with Beijing wanting to annex the territory to mainland China, for better or worse.
Beijing has been watching closely and with some concern the strengthening of relations between the US and Taiwan, which began to materialize with the visit of Alex Azar last month.
Keith Krach is the second visit in two months. The US secretary of economic growth, energy and environment landed in Taipei this Thursday for an official three-day visit.
For 40 years, there has not been a senior US government post, like Krach, visiting Taiwan.
At a press conference held this morning, the Chinese defense minister said that the People’s Republic of China was “conducting military exercises near the Taiwan Strait” when asked what China’s response to Krach’s visit to Taiwan would be.
“It is a legitimate and necessary action to safeguard China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, given the current situation in the Taiwan Strait,” Ren Guoqiang told reporters present.
Ren left the warning that the Chinese military has “sufficient capacity” to counter any external threats.
In recent weeks, Taiwan has seen an increase in incursions by Chinese fighter planes into the air zone of the island.