Taiwan’s defence ministry said the aircraft had crossed the Taiwan Strait median line, and it is thought Russian-made Su-30 jets are among the fleet heading towards Taiwan. Taipei said they were “monitoring” the detected Chinese aircraft, vowing not to “shy away” from confrontation with Beijing.
Taiwan’s generals said they were committed to upholding “our sovereignty, liberty and democracy”.
They added: “We fear no threat or challenges. We are not eager for a fight, nor will we shy away from one.
“We have the capacity and the will to uphold our valued liberty and democracy, and maintain our region’s stability.”
Tensions between Beijing and Taipei had skyrocketed as US Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, prepared to touch down in Taiwan.
But the US cultivates a “robust” relationship with Taipei, reiterated by Ms Pelosi before she departed on Wednesday.
However, Taiwan has pushed for self-governance, holding democratic elections and attempting to assert its independence from Beijing.
On Saturday, China announced the People’s Liberation Army would conduct “live fire exercises” in close proximity to Taiwan.
State-backed Chinese outlet, Global Times, tweeted on Tuesday that the People’s Liberation Army “will conduct important military exercises and training activities including live-fire drills in six regions surrounding the Taiwan island from Thursday to Sunday”.
China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said: “The Chinese military’s conducting of military exercises in the sea near China’s Taiwan are a necessary and just measure to resolutely protect national sovereignty.”
She added: “In the current struggle surrounding Pelosi’s Taiwan visit, the United States are the provocateurs, China is the victim.
“The joint provocation by the US and Taiwan came first, China’s just defence came after.”