China condemns U.S. officials' visit to Taiwan

Senior U.S. officials arrived in Taiwan on Wednesday as China steps up what it calls 'combat drills' around the island.

Taiwan, a democratic self-governed island which Beijing claims its own, has complained of heightened Chinese military activity in its periphery in recent months.

Twenty-five Chinese aircraft including fighter jets and nuclear-capable bombers entered Taiwan's air defence zone on Monday, the largest incursion Taipei has reported to date.

Chinese spokesman Ma Xiaoguang defended the exercises on Wednesday, calling them a "necessary action" and a "solemn response to external forces' interference."

He added that the exercises are quote "sending a signal that our determination to curb Taiwan independence and Taiwan-U.S. collusion is not just talk."

Meanwhile, emissaries from the U.S. are visiting the island in what the White House official called a "personal signal" of the Biden administration's commitment to Taiwan.

They are due to meet Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on Thursday, who has repeatedly called Taiwan an independent country.

Beijing was quick to condemn the meeting, with the spokesman, Ma, accusing the U.S. of quote "playing the 'Taiwan card' and continuing to send wrong signals to Taiwan independence forces."

Ma further called the Taiwan independence cause "a dead end," comparing it to the likes of drinking "poison" which "will only push Taiwan towards disaster."

Video Transcript

- Senior US officials arrived in Taiwan on Wednesday, as China steps up what it calls combat drills around the island. Taiwan, a Democratic self-governed island, which Beijing claims as its own, has complained of heightened Chinese military activity in its periphery in recent months. 25 Chinese aircraft, including fighter jets and nuclear-capable bombers, entered Taiwan's air defense zone on Monday-- the largest incursion Taipei has reported to date.

Chinese spokesman Ma Xiaoguang defended the exercises on Wednesday, calling them a, quote, "necessary action and a solemn response to external forces' interference." He added that the exercises are, quote, "sending a signal that our determination to curb Taiwan independence and Taiwan-US collusion is not just talk."

Meanwhile, emissaries from the US are visiting the island in what a White House official called a personal signal of the Biden administration's commitment to Taiwan. They are due to meet Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen on Thursday, who has repeatedly called Taiwan an independent country.

Beijing was quick to condemn the meeting, with the spokesman, Ma, accusing the US of, quote, "playing the Taiwan card and continuing to send wrong signals to Taiwan independence forces." Ma further called the Taiwan independence calls a, quote, "dead end," comparing it to the likes of drinking poison, which will only push Taiwan towards disaster.