Beijing: Infuriated over US Senator Marsha Blackburn's visit to Taiwan, China on Friday commenced military drills in the seas and airspace around the self-governed island, local media reported.

According to information released by the Taiwan region's defence authority, eight PLA Navy vessels and 35 PLA aircraft were detected around the island on Friday, with 18 of the detected aircraft (SU-30, J-11, J-16, and J-10) having flown on the east part of the median line of the Taiwan Straits and the island's air defence identification zone (ADIZ), the Global Times reported.

"The People's Liberation Army (PLA) organized a multi-service and arms joint combat-readiness patrol and realistic combat exercise in the seas and airspace around the island of Taiwan," the Eastern Theatre Command of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) announced hours after US Senator Marsha Blackburn met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, discussing issues like regional security and semiconductor supply chains in a three-day visit.

The Eastern Theatre Command pointed out that the actual combat exercise is a regular military operation organized in accordance with the changing situation in the Taiwan Straits.

"The PLA will resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and security as well as peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits," it stated.

Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, arrived in Taiwan on Thursday. The visit of the latest US lawmaker to visit Taiwan has upset China once again.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin in a statement said, "the US lawmaker's visit to China's Taiwan region seriously violates the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-US joint communiques, and goes against the US's commitment of maintaining only non-official ties with the Taiwan region."

"There is only one China in the world and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory. The government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China," the Chinese spokesperson said.

This latest visit of the US Senator comes in the backdrop of the US House Speaker's visit to Taiwan earlier this month. This trip was the highest-ranking US official to visit the island in 25 years.

Post Pelosi's visit, a US delegation, and then Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb also visited Taiwan. Now in continuation of the pattern, the US Senator visited the island nation, which has irked China.

Condemning the visit, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson noted, "We will not waver in opposing "Taiwan independence" separatist activities and external interference. We urge the relevant US politician to abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiques, immediately stop all forms of official interactions with Taiwan, and immediately stop sending wrong signals to "Taiwan independence" separatist forces."

"China will continue to take strong measures to resolutely defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity."

However, these warnings by China have had no effect whatsoever on the US Senator. Senator Marsha Blackburn vowed not to be bullied by China and said, "Xi Jinping doesn't scare me."

"I will not be bullied by Communist China into turning my back on the island. Taiwan is our strongest partner in the Indo-Pacific Region. Regular high-level visits to Taipei are long-standing US policy," Blackburn said in a statement, reported CNN.

China's ruling Communist Party claims Taiwan is part of its territory, despite having never governed it, and has refused to rule out the use of force to bring it under control.

The US has no formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but is bound by law to provide the island with defensive weapons and has remained intentionally ambiguous on whether it would intervene militarily in the event of a Chinese attack.

On Friday, Blackburn met Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen amid the rising tensions with China.

After she landed in Taipei, Blackburn applauded US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's recent visit to Taiwan alongside 25 other Republican senators. She said that Taiwan is the strongest partner of the US in the Indo-Pacific Region.

"Regular high-level visits to Taipei are long-standing US policy," Blackburn said, adding that she will not be bullied by China into turning her back on the island.

Blackburn arrived in Taiwan after stops in Fiji, the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. She was received by the director-general for North American affairs in Taiwan's foreign ministry, Douglas Hsu at the airport, The Hill reported.

The US senator will also meet the Secretary-General of the National Security Council Wellington Koo and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu during her three-day visit, Taiwan's Foreign Ministry said.