(Taipei, PINGTAN) Taiwan said it detected three Chinese warships and a Chinese anti-submarine helicopter near the island on Thursday morning, after the meeting in California between its President Tsai Ing-wen and the Speaker of the House of US Representative Kevin McCarthy, to which Beijing had promised a “determined” response.
“One People’s Liberation Army aircraft and three People’s Liberation Army Navy vessels were detected at 6 a.m. local time (6 p.m. EST Wednesday), Taiwan’s Minister of the Defense in a press release.
“The armed forces have been monitoring the situation and tasked combat air patrol aircraft, navy ships and land-based missile systems to respond to these activities,” he added.
Taiwan’s president, from a party that traditionally advocates for the island’s independence — an absolute red line for China — spoke with Speaker of the House of Representatives at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on Wednesday. of Simi Valley, near Los Angeles, despite repeated threats of retaliation from Beijing in recent weeks.
China launched unprecedented military maneuvers around Taiwan last August when Democrat Nancy Pelosi, McCarthy’s roost predecessor, visited Taiwan.
Beijing on Thursday pledged “determined and effective measures to safeguard its national sovereignty and territorial integrity”. The Chinese Foreign Ministry compared the Tsai-McCarthy meeting on US soil to “seriously mistaken acts of collusion” between the US and Taiwan, according to a statement.
This announcement comes as French President Emmanuel Macron is on a state visit to Beijing where he is due to meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Thursday.
The Taipei Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), the self-governing island’s top body responsible for setting policy towards China, on Wednesday accused Beijing of “hindering” trade in the Taiwan Strait by carrying out on-site inspections of cargo and passenger vessels.
Chinese maritime authorities had previously said they were stepping up patrols in the waters between the island and mainland China, without giving further details.
“The Chinese side’s action deliberately escalates cross-Strait tensions,” the MAC said.
“This is a flagrant violation of the cross-strait shipping agreement and maritime practices, which will have a significant negative impact on normal cross-strait traffic,” Taiwan said.