TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan’s defense minister said Wednesday the island would respond to incursions into its airspace by Chinese fighter jets and drones, but gave no details on specific actions.

Responding to questions from lawmakers, Chiu Kuo-cheng said China’s aggressive new stance had changed what Taiwan would define as a “first strike” that would require a response.

China has stepped up military exercises, fired missiles into waters near Taiwan and sent warplanes across the demarcation line in the Taiwan Straits in response to a visit to the island in August by the President of the U.S. House Nancy Pelosi, the highest U.S. official to visit Taiwan in 25 years.

China denies the existence of the median line in the Taiwan Strait and has defied established norms by launching missiles over Taiwan into Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

“We initially said we wouldn’t do the first strike…if they didn’t do the first strike, which means firing a projectile or a missile,” Chiu said. “But the situation has obviously changed.”

Asked by lawmaker Lo Chih-cheng of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party whether an incursion into Taiwanese airspace by a Chinese warplane would count as a first strike, Chiu said yes.

Taiwan has so far responded to Chinese incursions into its air defense identification zone by issuing warnings, jamming planes and activating anti-aircraft missile defenses.

The increasing frequency of such incursions prompted Taiwan to optimize its geographical advantages to resist a much more powerful enemy through asymmetric warfare, such as the use of tailored mobile weapon systems to repel an invading force.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has also drawn attention to China’s wish to bring Taiwan under its control, by force if necessary.

The vast majority of Taiwanese reject the idea of ​​coming under the control of China’s authoritarian one-party communist system. Russia’s failure to achieve its military goals in Ukraine has been a boost to those advocating for Taiwan’s counteroffensive against China’s attempts at diplomatic, cultural and economic isolation.

A former Japanese colony, Taiwan broke away from mainland China in 1949 when Mao Zedong’s Communists forced Chiang Kai-shek’s nationalists to move across the 180 kilometer (110 mile) Taiwan Strait. China has never backed down from its threat to invade and cut all ties with the Taiwanese government after pro-independence President Tsai Ing-wen was elected in 2016.

Also on Wednesday, Vice Economy Minister Chen Chern-chyi said the government stands ready to ensure an adequate supply of food, energy and other essentials, including those crucial for high-tech manufacturing. , in case of Chinese aggression.

China’s military drills in August were widely seen as a rehearsal for a potential blockade of the island, a move that would trigger a global financial crisis and legally trigger a response from the United States, Taiwan’s main ally.

“We have a system. We take inventory every month,” Chen told lawmakers. “We will make sure we have a certain storage period in Taiwan, including food, including critical supplies, minerals, chemicals and energy of course.

Chen also said Taiwan was firm in safeguarding key domestic trade secrets and technologies and ensuring that its best scientific talent would not be poached by China. Export controls are in place to ensure that Taiwanese products cannot be used in the Chinese military, he said, adding that these measures were constantly updated in consultation with allied nations and that any loophole was quickly closed.

“These measures we will implement very firmly,” Chen said.