Taipei [Taiwan], Aug 10 (ANI): Even as US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar was in Taiwan on a visit, Beijing deployed fighter jets that briefly crossed the midline of the Taiwan Strait on Monday, South China Morning Post reported citing Taiwan's defence ministry.
According to the report, Taiwan's defence ministry said it had tracked the People's Liberation Army (PLA) fighters with its land-based anti-aircraft missiles and had "strongly driven them out".
"The Air Force Command expresses that the deliberate intrusion and move that damages the Taiwan Strait situation has seriously hurt regional safety and stability," the ministry was quoted in the daily.
"It should be stressed that Taiwan's military has fully grasped all developments near the Taiwan Strait and airspace, and can respond appropriately to any changes in the enemy's situation to ensure national security," it said.
As the tensions between the two countries intensified over a range of issues, China on Monday slammed US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar's visit to Taiwan.
According to a report by state-run Xinhua, China's Foreign Ministry slammed the US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar's ongoing visit to Taiwan, urging the US side to stop official interactions and contact of all kinds, as well as upgrading of substantive relations with the island.
The remarks were made by China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian at a press briefing.
According to a Sputnik report, Azar highlighted the democratic values both the US and Taiwan share during his historic visit to the island on Monday.
Azar's visit is now the highest-level visit by a US Cabinet official to Taiwan since 1979, when Washington switched its official recognition to Beijing and established formal diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China.
Relations between the US and China have nosedived in recent times with the two countries sparring over several issues including the imposition of national security law in Hong Kong, China's territorial claims in South China Sea, handling of coronavirus pandemic among others. (ANI)