The Eastern Theatre Command of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) released a statement on Friday disclosing China's military recently carried out multi-unit joint combat exercises in the sea and airspace surrounding Taiwan.
Multiple Chinese fighter aircraft crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait on Friday in the northern portion of the strait, a Taiwanese source told reporters, adding that the jets did not violate Taiwanese airspace.
The exercises were organized in retaliation to "collusion and provocation" by the United States and Taiwan, according to Wu Qian, spokesperson for China's Ministry of Defense, who was quoted on Friday on the ministry's official Weibo account.
Senior U.S. senator Rick Scott arrived in Taiwan on Thursday for a visit and met with President Tsai Ing-wen on Friday.
The Republican senator from Florida heads the National Republican Senatorial Committee and serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
"The U.S. move gravely violates the one-China principle and the provisions of the three Sino-U.S. joint communiqués, and hurts the political foundation of Sino-U.S. relations," Wu said.
Wu added that the U.S. "gravely undermines the relationship between the two countries and the two militaries, and seriously raises tensions in the Taiwan Strait region."
Wu also said the Chinese People's Liberation Army is always prepared for war and will take all necessary means to decisively thwart the "involvement of external forces and the separatist attempts of Taiwan's independence," as well as to forcefully protect national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The defense ministry of Taiwan did not reply quickly to a request for comment on the drills.
Scott told reporters on Friday, following his meeting with President Tsai in Taipei, that he believes "the world has changed" as a result of Russian President Vladimir Putin's actions in Ukraine.
"We must all put ourselves in a position to protect the freedom in which we all believe. I believe Taiwan's participation in RIMPAC would be beneficial, and I hope that it will occur in the near future," he said.
The Rim of the Pacific exercise, also known as RIMPAC, is advertised as the world's largest multinational maritime exercise, with the most recent one beginning late last month with 26 nations engaging in maneuvers off the coasts of Hawaii and southern California.
Taiwan said it will continue to work closely with the U.S. to ensure the security and development of the Indo-Pacific region.