Xi Jinping‘s China sent a new type of Combat drone orbiting Taiwanthe island nation’s defense ministry said after a US Navy patrol plane flew through the Taiwan Strait on Friday.

What happened: In the recent increase in military tensions, Taipei said 19 military aircraft had penetrated the island’s air defenses Identification zone over the past 24 hours, including a TB-001 drone, Reuters reported.

According to a map provided by Taiwan, the drone flew around the island nation, first crossing the Bashi Channel that separates Taiwan from the Philippines, then up the east of the country before crossing back towards the Chinese coast.

Chinese state media have reported that the TB-001 drone, which they dubbed a “double-tailed scorpion,” can carry a heavy weapon load.

Meanwhile, the US Navy’s 7th Fleet said a P-8A Poseidon aircraft used for maritime patrol and reconnaissance has crossed the Taiwan Strait in international airspace.

“By operating in accordance with international law in the Taiwan Strait, the United States upholds the navigational rights and freedoms of all nations,” the statement said.

See also: Ron DeSantis says Xi Jinping wants to ‘eventually take Taiwan’: US will counter China’s ‘hostile action’

“The plane’s crossing of the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

Why it matters: Taiwan and its western allies have repeatedly warned against it Xi learns from Wladimir Putinwar in Ukraine and can soon attack the island nation.

Under Xi, the Chinese authorities have increased military and political pressure to try Taipei accepts Beijing’s sovereigntyincluding staging war games near the island and fighter jets in Taiwan’s air defense zone.

Continue reading: Take that, Xi Jinping? Taiwan Air Force Delivers “Punch” With Viral Winnie The Pooh Badge To China

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