• A large group of Chinese military aircraft crossed the median line dividing the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday.
  • Chinese planes flew through Taiwan's air defense zone for the second time in two days.
  • The moves come as China conducts drills in response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan this week.

A large force of Chinese fighter aircraft entered Taiwan's air defense identification zone on Wednesday, with many crossing the median line dividing the contentious Taiwan Strait in an unusual move as Beijing continues to flex its military muscles around the self-ruled island democracy.

Taiwan's defense ministry said in a tweet that in total 27 Chinese military aircraft entered the ADIZ before making a U-turn and heading back to mainland China. Of those aircraft, 22 crossed the median line, Reuters reported.

The People's Liberation Army Air Force aircraft included six Shenyang J-11 fighter jets, five advanced Shenyang J-16 fighter jets, and 16 Russian-made Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets.

Taiwan's defense ministry said it scrambled patrol aircraft, issued radio warnings to the intruding Chinese aircraft, and deployed air- and missile-defense systems to monitor the activity. 

On Tuesday, 21 Chinese warplanes flew into the southwest corner of Taiwan's ADIZ. That same day, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Taiwan, becoming the highest-ranking US lawmaker to do so in over two decades.

Pelosi's visit to the island, over which China claims to have sovereignty, came amid elevated tensions and a volley of threats from Beijing suggesting a military response to the trip.

Immediately after Pelosi landed, China announced it will hold military exercises, including live-fire drills, in six areas around Taiwan this week.

Chinese state media also reported that the People's Liberation Army would hold military exercises that include maritime and air drills and the firing of conventional missiles and long-range artillery. 

White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told reporters on Monday that China has no grounds to use Pelosi's trip as "pretext" for any military activity around Taiwan, but China is nonetheless ramping up activity around the island.

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