(Taipei) Chinese warships and aircraft are still around Taiwan on Tuesday, Taipei reported, a day after Beijing announced the end of its major military maneuvers.

China mobilized “military aircraft this morning and crossed the median line from the north, center and south,” reported the Taiwanese Defense Ministry, referring to the unofficial border that separates mainland China from Taiwan.

The ministry said it counted nine Chinese warships and 26 aircraft around the island. The vessels were detected around 11 a.m. local time (11 p.m. Eastern Time), he added.

Asked about the presence of its ships and aircraft around Taiwan on Tuesday, Beijing reaffirmed its claims to Taiwan.

“China will resolutely take strong measures to protect national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” said Chinese diplomatic spokesman Wang Wenbin at a regular press briefing.

“Taiwan is an inseparable part of Chinese territory. There is no so-called Taiwanese Ministry of Defense. »

Beijing had launched military exercises around Taiwan on Saturday for a period of three days, during which simulations of targeted strikes and an exercise in encirclement of the autonomous island took place.

China views Taiwan as a province it has yet to successfully reunify with the rest of its territory since the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949. It aims for such reunification by force if necessary.

This show of force came after the meeting Wednesday in California between Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and the speaker of the American House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, to which Beijing had promised to react.

Ms. Tsai on Monday condemned the military exercises, hours after their official completion, saying that China was using relations between Taipei and Washington as an “excuse to launch military exercises, creating instability in Taiwan and in the region “.

“Although China’s military exercise has ended, our military and national security team will continue to stand by and defend the country,” Tsai said in a Facebook post.

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said it detected 12 warships and 91 aircraft on the last day of the operation on Monday. Fifty-four of these aircraft entered Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).

Taiwan’s ADIZ is not identical to the island’s airspace, and includes a much larger area that overlaps with part of China’s ADIZ, and even includes a portion of the mainland.

During the drills, fighter jets were deployed from China’s aircraft carrier Shandong and crossed the median line, according to Taiwan’s Defense Ministry.

“ The Shandong Carrier Strike Group deployed in the Philippine Sea participated in the exercise and the total of 232 aerial sorties in three days is unprecedented”, observed for AFP Alexander Huang, military expert at Tamkang University in Taipei.

The Chinese army said on Monday that it had “successfully completed” its military maneuvers.

The objective was to simulate a “ closure ” of the territory of 23 million inhabitants, she explained. And in particular an “air blockade”, according to state television CCTV.

Washington, which had repeatedly called on China to show restraint, sent the American destroyer USS Milius to an area of ​​the South China Sea claimed by Beijing on Monday to conduct a “freedom of navigation operation”. An “intrusion” immediately denounced by China.

Wang Wenbin also said that “ Taiwan independence and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait are mutually exclusive”, accusing Taipei and the “foreign forces” supporting the island – without naming them – of being at the source of tension.

The continued presence of Chinese ships and aircraft after the formal end of the maneuvers could be a sign of increased daily military activity, experts say.

“I hope this will not become a normal situation,” said Tzeng Yi-suo, a researcher at the National Defense and Security Research in Taipei.