Taiwan is pushing back on reports that Beijing sent jet fighters across the Taiwan Strait apparently in response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island.
Beijing has promised both a military and political response to the visit Tuesday by Mrs. Pelosi, the highest-ranking American official to travel to the island in a quarter-century. China says Taiwan is part of its sovereign territory and has vowed one day to take control of the island 100 miles off its coast.
“The Taiwan Straits rumors are not true,” Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense said Tuesday in a statement. “The National Army can fully grasp the dynamics of the sea and airspace around the Taiwan Straits by using joint intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance methods.”
The state-owned China Daily newspaper reported that the People’s Liberation Army Air Force sent multiple Sukhoi Su-35 air defense fighters across the narrow strait that separates Taiwan from mainland China. The newspaper cited a report from the official China Central Television network.
On its Twitter page, Taiwan’s defense ministry called the report “fake news.”
“We urge ‘netizens’ to not spread it and strongly condemn this malicious act,” the ministry wrote.